An Illinois Army veteran had an unexpected reunion after receiving a call from an animal shelter 16 hours away, according to a Facebook post by city government officials in Temple, Texas.
Shawn Bowden never thought he would see his cat Ace again after he went missing in 2016, officials said.
Bowden adopted Ace in 2009 in Alabama, according to WFAA. In 2016, the two moved to Fort Cavazos, due to Bowden being in the Army.
One night a thunderstorm rolled in, knocking out a screen window in Bowden’s home. After that, Ace was nowhere to be found, according to the news outlet. Bowden looked for Ace for a few months, putting up fliers and offering rewards, but never found him.
“I figured ‘I hope he had a good life,’” Bowden told WFAA. “That was kind of the end of the story.”
Then, on July 25, Bowden received an unexpected phone call from an animal shelter saying they found Ace, WFAA reported.
“Mr. Bowden received a phone call from Temple Animal Services notifying him that Ace had been discovered as a stray and identified him through his microchip,” the Facebook post read.
The post states that Bowden drove 16 hours to be reunited with Ace.
“Microchipping is a simple act of love that ensures your pet always finds their way back home!” the Facebook post says.
Roughly 7.8 million cats are microchipped, according to cats.org.
The Ohio State University reported that in a study, five out of 53 shelters recorded information on animals entering the shelters with a microchip. The study showed that owners were found for 63.5% of stray cats with microchips.