An adventurous driving duo is back on the road thanks to a stranger's sweet gesture and a piece of technology the size of a grain of rice.
Ashes, a 3-year-old gray cat who was found at a truck stop in Ohio earlier this month, was reunited with his owner who was multiple states away -- all thanks to a microchip.
Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester, shared the sweet story on social media to serve as a reminder for pet owners about the importance of microchips to locate lost animals.
A woman spotted the small gray cat after she pulled over at a Love’s Travel Stop in Ohio while moving across the country from the West Coast, the humane society explained in a blog post. The kind feline-friendly stranger apparently looked for its owner and asked around if anyone knew of a missing cat, then bundled it up in a blanket and brought it to her car.
When she arrived in Rochester, the woman took the cat to Lollypop Farm where the admissions team scanned the animal for a microchip and found its possible owner.
"Not only did he have one, but he had an owner who had registered him under a Texas address that was over 1,465 miles away," the shelter wrote in a blog post. "This was one cross-country kitty."
Matthew B., a trucker with an 18-wheeler, had lost his longtime travel companion Ashes when the pair passed through Springfield, Ohio, in July, according to Lollypop Farm.
"I had been thinking about Ashes every day," Matthew told Lollypop Farm.
He even re-routed other trips through the area to go back to the Love's rest stop where the cat went missing to search for his furry friend, but came up short.
Less than two weeks after Ashes arrived, the relieved owner was able to shift his schedule and drive up the East Coast to reunite with the cat in Rochester.
The shelter's clinic team brought Ashes out into the cat adoption center, where he was greeted by his owner Matthew, the woman who had found the small, lost cat and her friend to witness the incredible moment.
"It’s my Christmas miracle," Matthew said.
Ashes apparently leaped from his arms into the 18-wheeler he knew and perched himself in his rightful seat, with a new name tag, collar and harness courtesy of the Lollypop Farm crew.
"It’s that microchip – without it, I wouldn’t have ever gotten him back," Matthew said, according to Lollypop Farm. "If you love your pet, you just have to chip them. The women that found him saved his life, but the microchip brought him home."