Paul Robertson doesn’t need one of those bobble-head dashboard ornaments for his big rig. He’s got something even better! His rescue cat, Percy, rides by his side everywhere he goes on a special platform Robertson built just for him.
The life of a long haul trucker can get awfully lonely, so when Robertson’s beloved kitty, Howie, passed away last year, he decided to rescue another fellow feline traveler.
When Percy and Robertson first met, the trucker noticed that the orange tabby had definitely been around the block a time or two. There were healed injuries to his right eye and one of his canine teeth was missing. Percy also had a deep notch cut from his right ear from having been rounded up as part of a trap-and-release spay/neuter program.
Robertson saw past his scars and flaws to the gentle, love-starved soul inside. Much like Percy, Robertson’s looks can be deceiving. A big, burly trucker with a thick beard and a passion for roller derby, you could easily mistake Robertson for a tough biker dude. But beneath that hard exterior lies a kindhearted animal lover and devoted friend.
In their first 2 weeks together, Percy basked in the sun, bird-watched, and snuggled up to his new dad as they cruised through:
…the plains of North Dakota, the badlands, the forests and foothills of Montana, snowy peaks on the blue Rocky Mountains, a blizzard including several wiped-out 18-wheelers, lots of forests and farms and cows and bison and llamas and sheep,” according to Robertson’s Facebook page.
It’s been one adventure after another for the pair ever since! The more they roam, the more Percy’s personality flourishes.
“He’s very affectionate and loves to crawl on my lap, up my chest, and then rub cheeks with me,” Robertson says. “He loves to play. He purrs a lot. And of course, he’s a cat: he loves to eat and he loves to snooze.”
As for Robertson, he finds a new reason to smile each day, thanks to his purring passenger. Percy has replaced his dad’s need for an alarm clock by waking him each morning with his spirited play sessions. There’s nothing like a bout of predawn tail-chasing inside a tiny sleeper cab to welcome you into a new day!
The other day I caught myself laughing at one of his antics and I thought: “It’s nice to live alone sometimes ’cause you can have everything your own way – but I wouldn’t be laughing like this if I were alone.” Percy is good for my spirit and soul.
Percy gave his dad a terrible scare last month when he hopped out the passenger window at an Ohio rest stop in pursuit of a bird. After searching for hours through the freezing rain and a short, fitful night’s sleep, Robertson had to move on. He was carrying thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise in the truck, and felt obligated to do his job despite his heartbreak over “abandoning his child.”
Facebook friends around the world pledged their support, calling shelters and posting missing cat info all over the web. Four hundred miles later, Robertson arrived at a plant in Indiana. As he reached for some paperwork, a filthy orange cat walked out from under the truck – it was Percy!
The little stowaway had traveled the whole way beneath the body of the rig! He was hungry and reeked of diesel ash, but otherwise fine. Just after midnight on February 26, Robertson posted to Facebook:
“CALL OFF THE SEARCH!!! PERCY IS OKAY!!!” He signed off: “This little orange furry soul means the world to me. Thank you for caring about him too.”
Safe travels, Percy and Paul!
Featured Image via Facebook/Paul Preflash Gordon Robertson