A cat named Hemi is back with his owner, who drove 1,700 miles from North Dakota to retrieve his lost-and-found pet.

Multiple media outlets report Robert Connell drove from Bismarck to the Craven County, North Carolina, animal shelter to pick up Hemi on Monday. Connell says he decided to make the drive after the winter storm nixed plans for a family friend to fly Hemi to Bismarck.

Connell served as a Marine, and he says Hemi helped him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Robert and his wife lived in North Carolina when they found Hemi in 2009. Hemi disappeared in 2011 when Robert deployed.

The family later moved to Bismarck when Robert got a new job.

Hemi turned up last week, and a microchip enabled officials to find the Connells.