A Harrisonburg, Virginia police officer brought home a furry friend after he responded to a call last month.
In July, Officer Timothy Rugg responded to a call of a kitten being thrown from a vehicle onto a Harrisonburg street. The caller picked up the cat, took it home, and gave it a bath. However, they said they could not keep it or take it to the Rockingham Harrisonburg SPCA themselves. Rugg told WHSV that he agreed to take the cat to the shelter.
“She was hiding under a couch,” Rugg explained. “I reached under and got her, and she immediately crawled onto my shoulder and perched onto it like a parrot and started purring.”
Rugg tried to drop the kitten off at the RHSPCA, but she would not let go. The shelter even shared a photo of the kitten, whom he named Penny, perched on his shoulder on Instagram.
After the cat positioned herself on Rugg’s shoulder, he discovered the shelter was near capacity, according to the Harrisonburg Police Department. He asked for an application to foster the kitten.
“Officer Ruggs [sic] brought this little cutie into the shelter as a stray this week. She was perched on his shoulder from the moment they walked in the door, but from the moment they met, she had already found her way into his heart,” the shelter’s staff shared on July 14.
“I just felt like she wanted to be with me, and before that, I never saw myself owning a cat,” Rugg said, adding that he always considered himself a dog person. Penny did not get that vibe from the officer though, and they “just kind of bonded immediately,” he said. “And I just knew I had to take her with me.”
Penny was “super scared” when she met Rugg, but he said she is now “super active.” Rugg even had to rearrange his apartment to make it safe for the curious kitten.
The pet has also had a positive impact on Rugg’s life. “She’s definitely making my days better and helping me relax. She’s great,” he told WHSV. However, he plans to “be careful” not to respond to too many calls involving cats, “otherwise I’ll have a house full of cats.”
Rugg is not the first police officer to adopt an animal he saved. In December 2021, Tulsa, Oklahoma police officers found five puppies abandoned at a gas station.
The officers were “overwhelmed with Christmas feelings” and adopted four of the five puppies, the Tulsa Police Department wrote in a Facebook post.