The day he lost his best pal Percy may have been the worst day of Paul Robertson’s life. “I just felt so low,” Robertson said when he had to pull out from the Ohio truck stop where Percy had disappeared through the open window of his cab. “I suddenly felt like I was abandoning my child. Man, that really sucked.”
The amazing story of Percy was lost and found is beautifully told on MPR News with Tom Weber, and you should really read the whole article, if you don’t mind tearing up.
Robertson and Percy had been constant companions for over a year since Robertson adopted Percy from a Twin Cities animal rescue. Percy loved life on the road. “He’s just great, he’s the calmest,” Robertson told MPR News host Tom Weber.
Percy even has his own perch so he can look out the window. The orange cat soon became a social media star after Robertson started posting photos of their shared adventures.
Robertson had spent the night at the rest stop where he hoped to sleep off a bout of food poisoning with his furry friend not far away. But when Robertson woke up the next morning, the passenger window was down and Percy was gone. He did what any caring cat owner would do: he panicked.
“I don’t know if he’s been gone five minutes or an hour or three hours,” Robertson said. “I do the classic parent thing: I grab the food bag and I went around the truck. Shake, shake, shake. Calling: ‘Percy! Percy Wercy!'”
Nothing. Devastated, Robertson went on Facebook. “This day can totally eat it,” he wrote. Soon people were offering to call all the nearby shelters on his behalf. One person even showed up at to help him search for the cat, who is chipped. Others promised to keep looking and to set out traps.
When he had to drive away without his cat to meet his delivery schedule, he heard the wind howling and his heart sank. “I’m feeling as low as a snail’s belly,” he said. But after making his second delivery in Indiana, something incredible happened.
“I turned around, and I look. I think: Here’s a stray cat coming out from under my truck. … It doesn’t remotely register to me. I’m thinking my cat is 400 miles behind me, dying in the snow.”
“I suddenly recognize him. He just looks up at me with the big eyes, like: ‘Dad?'”
“I took him into the truck and we cuddled and snuggled and he was rubbing his face on me,” Robertson said. “Oh my gosh, he stunk.”
Percy had hidden underneath the cab of Robertson’s truck for more than four hundred miles. Robertson’s best guess is that Percy found a space on top of the transmission. “He found a spot, wedged himself in, and clearly wasn’t coming out for nothing,” Robertson said.
That night he jumped on Facebook with some wonderful news. “CALL OFF THE SEARCH!!! PERCY IS OKAY!!!” he wrote. He thanked everyone for their help. “This little orange furry soul means the world to me. Thank you for caring about him too.”