He’s the littlest Survivor of Hurricane Florence.
A kitten who rode his owner’s shoulder out of the storm on Friday has captured hearts across the nation as North Carolina continues to get deluged by the killer storm.
Video of the soggy young cat, aptly named Survivor, went viral after he was rescued with his owner, Robert Simmons Jr., from their home in the flooded town of New Bern, where the overflowing Neuse River turned the small town’s streets into canals with water so deep, the tops of street signs barely poked through.
More than two feet of rain has fallen in the area.
“We done been through Bertha, Fran, Irene, Matthew,” Simmons, 40, told the Raleigh News & Observer. The lifelong resident of New Bern said this storm was “the worst it’s ever been.”
While Simmons spoke, the kitten, huddled inside his jacket, mewed. Then it crawled out and clung to the man’s shoulder as the boat made its way through the flood waters. He said the mother cat was near his home, which was not flooded – the water rose and stopped just outside his front door – but she’s a wild cat.
Simmons’ father was still inside the dry home, refusing to leave. Even though they had plenty of food and water, the younger man felt trapped by the water surrounding them and accepted the offer of a rescue.
“I didn’t want him to wait it out,” Simmons said. “Yeah. Didn’t want him to wait it out. Man, it’s bad.”