Riding the rails back home: Cold kitty stowaway returns to Saskatchewan
'I even had said...I better put the cat bed away and stuff because it doesn't seem like the cat's coming back'
It's been a whirlwind two weeks for Tiger.
The Saskatchewan cat lost his way from home, ended up nearly freezing to death stealing a ride on a train engine in Wainwright, Alta., was rescued and welcomed to a new home in Edmonton.
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But Tiger's amazing story of survival, which made international news such as Britain's Daily Mail and on Good Morning America, made one last turn Friday.
Tiger, dubbed Q199 by CN conductor Brad Slater after the train he was found on Sunday in –40 C, was reunited with his owners.
Lynn Hahn and her husband last saw the tabby at home on Nov. 28, almost two weeks before he was found. Hahn says she and her husband feared the worst.
"I even had said to the husband the day before we had got a hold of Brad that I better put the cat bed away and stuff because it doesn't seem like the cat's coming back.
"So it was pretty amazing when we seen the story."
Hahn saw the story online Tuesday and recognized her cat.
She got in touch with Slater right away to make arrangements for a reunion.
"As soon as I came into the house and started talking he came to me," Hahn said.
"I was kind of shaking and wondering what he would do, but as soon as we started talking I said, 'Hello Tiger,' and he came to me right away and started smelling me and I picked him up and was hugging him."
Coincidentally, Hahn and her husband are retired CN employees and had found Tiger running around the rail yard in their home town of Melville, Sask.
She said she brought him home to provide companionship for her husband who was battling cancer at the time.
'Uncle Brad' promises to visit Tiger soon
For Slater, the reunion is bittersweet as he has become attached to his new friend and is sad to see him go.
"Mixed feelings, I'm really happy that he's going home," added Slater. "It's going to be a Merry Christmas for everybody and my three cats are happy, they know what I'm going through.
"So last night when he went to bed, they all came up and they knew. I got support. I've got my brothers all over here so I'm doing good."
Hahn and Tiger will spend the night in Edmonton now and get ready for their trip home Saturday — by rail of course — and a reunion with the rest of the family.
"I can't wait to see the reaction to him and my husband and what they're like and the grand kids can't wait to see him for Christmas," said Hahn.
As for Slater, the bond between him and Tiger turned into something special. He plans to keep in touch and make a trip to Melville as well.
"We made plans, I think we're going to go sometime this summer, " said Slater, holding back tears.
"We're going to keep in contact. She's going to send me pictures and videos. Uncle Brad will be around forever."