A Saskatchewan couple has come forward as the possible owners of a cat that survived a long, freezing ride through the prairies on a CN train over the weekend.

On Sunday, conductor Brad Slater found the cat covered in snow and suffering from frostbite during a routine safety check in Wainwright – the cat had made its way under the engine deck.

It wasn’t immediately clear where the cat had hopped on the train, which had left Winnipeg early Sunday morning and made a stop in Saskatoon on the way to Alberta.

It’s believed the cat had been on the train for about 12 hours, in weather that dropped to about -40 degrees Celsius.

Slater rescued the cat, feeding it water and beef jerky as the train travelled to Edmonton. He took the feline home once the train reached its destination, and the two quickly formed a bond.

“I just knew he would get the best love, care and affection from here,” Slater said.

Slater called the cat ‘Q-199’, which is the identification code for the train the cat was found on. Q was taken to a vet, and despite some cuts on his paws and frostbite on his ear, was given a clean bill of health.

Meanwhile, Slater said he was looking for Q’s rightful owner – but with no tag or chip to go off of, he hoped getting the cat’s story out would help.

It did.

On Tuesday, CTV News spoke to Brent Hahn, who said his family cat Tiger had disappeared in late November. Hahn and his wife Lynnette live in Melville, Saskatchewan.

“Our grandchildren have been crying for days for that cat to come back,” Hahn said in an interview with CTV News.

“I lined up pictures that I had and the ones you guys had, and I put them side by side and you can tell they’re pretty well identical.”

Brent and Lynnette are both retired CN workers, and they said they brought Tiger home from a train station three years ago. Their farm is located about a kilometer away from train tracks.

The couple saw the CTV News report on the stow-away cat, and said they got in touch with Slater – Tiger’s rescuer said giving up his new feline friend will be difficult.

“The name Tiger, he responds to,” Slater said. “So I honestly think it’s their cat. As much as I don’t want it to be, I think it is.”

Now, Lynnette plans to take the same route she thinks Tiger did and will travel nearly 12 hours by train to Edmonton. She hopes to successfully identify Tiger in person, before bringing him home.

With files from Shanelle Kaul