An Iowa truck driver traveled nearly 2,000 miles just to reunite a family with their rescue cat earlier this month.
When the Welter’s planned their move from Clear Lake, Iowa to Peachtree City, Georgia, they didn’t expect to have to leave their cat, Franklin, behind. However, when it came time to make the move, Franklin was nowhere to be found. The family searched the property before realizing that their cat had been spooked by the movers, wedging himself in the space just above the basement ceiling.
“We did all we could aside from cutting a hole in the ceiling to get him out,” said husband and father Matt Welter to the Globe Gazette.
The Welters were already behind schedule, so they had to get moving, but they came up with a plan – have a neighbor set out a baited trap to catch Franklin and go from there. Sure enough, Franklin was caught within a few days, but now the Welter’s were faced with another problem: the $2,000 cost to ship the cat all the way to their new home in Georgia.
“We couldn’t afford that,” Matt said. “We love him and all, but we just moved across the country, so we thought the next best thing was to find him another loving home.”
So Franklin stayed with Grandma in Clear Lake as the Welter’s took to Facebook to find Franklin a new, permanent home. Matt says he received several messages offering to take the cat, but was shocked when he received one from truck driver Travis Anderson, offering to deliver the cat to their new home himself.
Anderson lives in Clear Lake and, although he didn’t know the family, he knew he could help them reunite with their pet.
“They were in a bind and there was no other way he’d get back to them,” he said. “I didn’t want to see it go to the shelter, and if worse came to worst, I was going to take the cat.”
So, Anderson lined up a delivery to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas, bringing him a bit closer to Georgia, and made plans to drop Franklin off with his family.
“We thought he was a member of extended family that was no longer going to be with us,” Matt said.
“All our options had been exhausted, and then, this happened.”
Anderson picked Franklin up from the Welter’s home in Clear Lake and the two set off on their three-day, 1,850 mile adventure on August 9th.
“He was a good little boy,” Anderson said. “He got to see quite a bit of country; more than most people get to see. He especially liked watching the airplanes take off from the airport.”
After the pair completed their delivery in Dallas, they headed for Knoxville, Tennessee, where Anderson met up with Matt to reunite the cat with his family.
Matt says he was happy to make the nearly four hour drive after what Anderson did for them.
Franklin and the Welter’s have since settled into their new home as a family.
”Through this situation, I became a quick believer that there’s a lot of good out there still,” Matt said.
“We thought everything was dark, and the headlights of an 18-wheeler lit it up for us.”