Cat Survives 400-Mile Journey in Owner's Tractor-Trailer Undercarriage

A Minnesota trucker's cat emerged unharmed after spending 400 miles of road clinging to his truck's undercarriage

a cat under a car
Photo: Getty

Percy had a pretty rough Feb. 25.

That cat, who belongs to St. Paul, Minnesota, long-haul truck driver Paul Robertson, was spending his Feb. 24 hanging around with his owner in New Paris, Ohio, where Robertson was recovering from a bout of food poisoning.

Robertson, riding out his stomach troubles with sleep, had left his truck idling to keep the air conditioning active — but Percy activated the electric window and slipped out. When Robertson awoke, his pet was nowhere to be found, and worst of all, a storm was approaching.

The 57-year-old Robertson began updating his dilemma on Facebook, where his online community chimed in with tips for dealing with a lost cat, started a GoFundMe to raise money for a reward — one even showed up in person to look for the cat.

“When Percy got out, his words spoke so deeply to all of us, especially ones that have been in that position of losing a beloved pet,” Teresa Schutz Esler, a close friend of Robertson’s, told the Star-Tribune. “It might just be him and his kitty in the truck hauling down the road day after day, but when he logs onto Facebook, they have an entire extended family online, new and old, looking forward to hearing about their day’s adventure.”

Robertson was forced back into his truck as the day wore on and it got colder and began to snow. He left Percy’s litter box, food and a pair of dirty socks outside the truck to try and lure his pet back home.

Eventually, after 24 hours, Robertson posted a crushing update.

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Robertson’s next two trips were 200-mile stretches. At the second stop, he was returning to his trailer when he noticed a battered but familiar form emerging from under his truck.

“He was cold and miserable and a bit wide-eyed … he stinks like 400 miles of bad road and old truck … but somehow this amazing animal rode with me all day today hanging onto the undercarriage!” Robertson wrote on Facebook.

Percy’s only injury from the ordeal was an eye infection, likely from the dust, dirt and road salt he was bombarded with during his ride.

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He’s since recovered nicely, and is riding shotgun with Robertson again.

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“This is the feel-good story of 2017,” Robertson told the Star-Tribune. “If ever a moment felt like a gift from God, it was then.”

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