Officer Timothy Rugg knew they had an instant connection as soon as the sweet kitten crawled onto his shoulder.
A Virginia police officer, who always considered himself to be a dog person and "never thought of owning a cat," ended up saving a kitten's life. Officer Timothy Rugg brought home a furry feline after he responded to a service call on July 13. The officer, with the Harrisonburg Police Department, first met Penny-Furthing, the 3-month-old kitten, after hearing that she was thrown from a vehicle onto a Harrisonburg street. According to PEOPLE, the caller took her home and gave her a bath but could not keep or transfer her to the Rockingham Harrisonburg SPCA themselves. Rugg told WHSV that he agreed to take the abandoned kitten to the shelter. “She was hiding under a couch. I reached under and got her, and she immediately crawled onto my shoulder and perched onto it like a parrot and started purring,” he said. When he got to the SPCA to drop the kitten off, he knew something wasn't right. “I just felt like she wanted to be with me, and before that, I never saw myself owning a cat. I thought I was a dog person, but we just kind of bonded immediately, and I just knew I had to take her with me,” he explained.
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Rugg was able to bring Penny home on the same day as his wife's birthday. "That was an interesting surprise for her," the officer told Good Morning America. The couple settled on the name Penny-Furthing, a play on penny-farthing and "fur thing." Rugg also noted that when he first met her she was "very timid and shy" but is now "rambunctious" and "wild." The cutie loves to cuddle, scratch, play with water and poke around the couple's houseplants.
This police officer adopts a kitten that was "thrown from a window." 🥺— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 3, 2023
"She was super scared, but when I picked her up, she just climbed right up to my shoulder ... started purring and just wouldn't let go," said Officer Timothy Rugg. https://t.co/Uo716Uy3DB pic.twitter.com/xm1xcivOEJ
Huck Nawaz, the executive director of the RHSPCA, said in a statement, "It's heartbreaking to think that someone chose to toss little Penny out of a car. Fortunately for her, Ofc. Rugg was there to bring her to us. I guess they bonded on the ride over as she was already quite attached to him by the time they got here and he offered to foster her while she recovers. This is one case of a 'failed foster' that we couldn't be happier about. We're very grateful for the support of our community members like Ofc. Rugg who open their hearts and homes for our animals in need."
The officer is now encouraging others to help give these animals a forever home. "The process is really simple. You just go to your local shelter and fill out an application, they'll do a small background check to make sure everything is good. And then you can take a cat home or a dog home," Rugg explained. "The beauty of the foster process is you can learn to see if you are capable or really want to do it rather than just purchasing an animal somewhere else and then not being sure later if it was the right choice," the officer added.