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“Tom the Trucker Cat” found after 40 days on the lam

Marie Sanchez and Angel Garcia of Yuma lost their cat Tom during a stop in Minnesota. A Minnesota community rallied to help find and return him

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KYMA, KECY-TV ) - This past January, Marie Sanchez and Angel Garcia were driving through central Minnesota when the refrigerator trailer they were hauling turned off.

"We had a bunch of apples," Marie Sanchez said. "We couldn't have the trailer turning off. I told my husband, hey, the trailer turned off, you might want to go check on it."

Marie's husband Angel ( Anthony ) Garcia agreed and pulled into a central Minnesota truck stop to take a look.

"When he ( Angel ) got out, he didn't close the door all the way," Marie said. "The cat, Tom, he jumped out."

Angel says Tom gave him one good look and ran off.

"It was super cold that night," Marie said. "Every half hour Angel was getting out of the truck trying to lure Tom back."

The couple tried treats, food and even Tom's litter box to try to get him to come back.

"Usually the typical things we use to get him back did not work this night," Marie said.

Marie and Angel searched for hours but knew they had to get their cargo back on the road.

"We had to leave and it was a real tough decision to make," Marie said. "That's what happened that night."

Seeing his wife heartbroken, Angel made a post on a central Minnesota Facebook page asking for help.

"After we took off, about an hour later she ( Marie ) was devastated," Angel said. "She was tearing up and I felt bad, felt like it was my fault and I had to do something."

Angel's post attracted a lot of attention.

"A lot of love and everybody was out there in the streets looking for," Angel said.

40 days later, Tom was captured at a welding shop called C4 Welding, located nearly nine miles away from where Tom was last seen.

"In order to get there, Tom would have had to cross the Mississippi River," Marie said. "So we don't know if he might have hitched a ride or what. I wish he could tell us."

Tom had lost half of his body weight and chipped a tooth but seemed to be in good spirits when he was found.

A man named Jeremiah and his co-workers captured Tom after the cat made it's way in to the shop. Jeremiah took the cat home where he and his girlfriend Tabitha took care of him and posted pictures of the scraggly cat.

"Could this possibly be him? Had a blue collar with a bow." the post said.

"He was full of grease and he was dirty," Marie said. "He was scanned, he is microchipped and sure enough, it was Tom."

Marie and Angel can't thank enough those who help find, capture and take care of Tom.

"Thanking the St. Cloud community, they’re amazing people, like all the compassion the love, the care that they gave Tom," Marie said. "This boy is spoiled."

You can keep up with Tom's recovery on his Facebook page @Tomthetruckercat 

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Scott Gross

Scott Gross joins the KYMA team as the Anchor, CBS Sports Director, and Executive Producer.

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