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May 24, 2016 03:17 PM

Mr. Meowgi has nine lives’ worth of frequent-flyer miles after his journey to reunite with his savior and friend Brad VanCleave.

The pair met when the Navy reservist was stationed in Baghdad in 2015, according to CBS News.

“In July of 2015, I saw a baby kitten and he stuck his head out from one of the shipping containers. And we started feeding it and his mom,” VanCleave said.

The orange tabby’s mom eventually abandoned the kitten, but VanCleave stayed by the little guy, now christened Mr. Meowgi’s, side.

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“Every morning, when we could pull up, he would run up from his little shelter and he would just meow his head off,” the veteran said.

He continued, “It’s kind of a neat little feeling to know that you’re arriving at your work site and you’re greeting by this meowing little baby, and he’s chasing after you.”

This sweet, talkative baby left an impression on Mr. Mom. After returning home, VanCleave continued to think and worry about the furry friend he made abroad.

Concerned that Mr. Meowgi wouldn’t survive without him, VanCleave contacted SPCA International and Operation Baghdad Pups for help getting the feline stateside. The group was able to move the cat to Erbil, Iraq, then Frankfurt, Germany, then New York, and finally to Los Angeles, where the cat found his new family waiting for him at LAX.

In typical Mr. Meowgi fashion, the kitty greeted his old buddy with a long string of meows. After an emotional reunion at the airport, Mr. Meowgi headed home with VanCleave, where he will share a forever home with the veteran’s sons, cat and dog.

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