Lucky ‘Penny’ the Kitten Perches on Officer’s Shoulder and Steals His Heart

Penny, the pretty Torbie kitten, survived being thrown from a car onto the street by an unknown, but clearly abusive person. Nevertheless, she proved a very lucky penny! First, a Good Samaritan rescued her. And not long afterward, she was standing on her future Cat Dad’s shoulder. (see video below).

Officer Timothy Rugg, from the Harrisonburg Police Department in Virginia, didn’t think he was a cat person when he met Penny. Now, he’s concerned that he might end up with a house full of cats if he’s not careful!

Local news shared that Penny has become Officer Rugg’s “partner in fighting crime.”

Officer Timothy Rugg and Charlie, formerly Penny, 2
Images via Facebook/Harrisonburg Police Department with screenshots via YouTube/Eyewitness News ABC7NY and WHSV3

Penny Discarded On the Street
It’s impossible to imagine the cruelty of somebody throwing a kitten from a vehicle. They discarded her like trash but a witness saw her land on Old Furnace Road. After taking her home, they cared for and bathed her. Once she was all cleaned up, they called for help transporting the kitten to the local SPCA.

That’s when Officer Rugg arrived, agreeing to transport the kitten himself. It was the first time he had responded to such a call, and it would change his life! When he arrived, the skittish kitten was hiding under the sofa. When he reached under and pulled her out, she jumped up to perch on his shoulder “like a parrot,” he explained.

Next to the officer’s ear, Penny started purring and working her charms. Although he planned on leaving her at the SPCA, that’s not what happened. She won him over in just a few minutes. Melting the hardest of hearts is a cat’s supurrpower.

“I just felt like she needed to be with me,” he told WHSV3 news. “I mean, before that, I never saw myself owning a cat; I thought I was a dog person, but we just bonded immediately, and I knew I had to take her with me.”

Penny Refused to Leave Officer Rugg’s Shoulder
As planned, Rugg took Penny to the Rockingham Harrisonburg SPCA, but she refused to move away from his shoulder. The shelter shared an adorable picture and story.

“Officer Rugg brought this little cutie into the shelter as a stray this week. She was perched on his shoulder from the moment they walked in the door, but from the moment they met, she had already found her way into his heart 💕. Instead of an intake form, we gave Officer Rugg a foster application so he could take his new bestie home with him! She has since been named Charlie. No update on whether she’s moved from her perch on his shoulder yet. 😉, If you would like to become a foster like Officer Rugg, fill out an application today!

Officer Timothy Rugg and Charlie, formerly Penny, 3

Since then, Officer Rugg has been kitten-proofing his apartment for Charlie, who he says is “super active.”

Officer Timothy Rugg and Charlie, formerly Penny
Officer Rugg and Charlie, formerly Penny

“Officer Rugg and Charlie are now a bonafide crime-fighting duo. Charlie’s favorite job is surveillance from Officer Rugg’s shoulder, as well as power napping and being adorable,” shared the Harrisonburg Police Department. “We are grateful for all of our officers and their willingness to answer every kind of call, day in and day out, and adapt to all kinds of situations…even fluffy ones with whiskers.”

Officer Timothy Rugg and Charlie, formerly Penny, 4

And the best part: Charlie has improved his life, too!
“She’s definitely making my days better and helping me relax. She’s great,” he said.

Yep. He’s an official Cat Dad now, so much so that he might consider adopting another kitty. Hmm…Charlie’s Angels, purrhaps?

“I have to be careful to not go on too many of them. Otherwise, I’ll have a house full of cats,” he joked with WHSV3.

Lucky ‘Penny’ the Kitten Refuses to Leave Officer’s Shoulder and Now He’s a Cat Dad, Officer Timothy Rugg, Harrisonburg Police Department, Rockingham Harrisonburg SPCA, kitten

The Purrfect Time to Adopt
Thanks to an anonymous donor, the Rockingham Harrisonburg SPCA has waived adoption fees for adult cats for the remainder of 2023. The currently at-capacity shelter also offers vouchers for free spay-neuter and microchipping for stray cats. Another way to help is volunteering to transport animals like Officer Rugg. But, there’s always the odd chance you might meet a cutie that perches on your shoulder and steals your heart.