A dramatic photo of a kitten, aptly named “Survivor,” who rode his owner’s shoulder while fleeing from Hurricane Florence’s floodwaters has captured hearts of people around the United States, the News & Observer reports.
Images of the soggy young cat went viral after a boat came and rescued him and his owner, Robert Simmons Jr., from their home in the flooded town of New Bern, N.C.
The overflowing Neuse River has turned the small town’s streets into canals. Simmons said he has lived there his entire life, but the floods were so deep that now he didn’t recognize anything.
“We done been through Bertha, Fran, Irene, Matthew,” Simmons told News & Observer referring to the names of hurricanes that had come through eastern North Carolina. “And this is the worst it’s ever been, in this part right here.”
While Simmons spoke, Survivor huddled inside his owner’s jacket. Then the visibly drenched kitten crawled out and perched on top of the man’s shoulder.
The photo went viral after News & Observer reporter Andrew Carter, who took the picture, posted it on Twitter Friday.
Meet Robert Simmons. Was stuck in his house since last night, when floodwaters began to rise in New Bern. A boat came and rescued him just now. He was sad to leave his father but left with his kitten hugging his neck. Cat’s name: Survivor, Simmons said. #HurricaneFlorence2018 pic.twitter.com/vRR3lANDJe
— Andrew Carter (@_andrewcarter) September 14, 2018
Simmons was asked why the young cat had taken such a liking to him. “I feed him,” he said with a laugh. “I’m an animal lover.”
Watch the video below: