Robert Simmons Jr., a man from New Bern, NC, took the concept of caring for his pet to a whole new level when he was photographed by Andrew Carter, a reporter for North Carolina's News & Observer, while boating to safety with his kitten, aptly named Survivor, during Hurricane Florence. The image is so powerful it quickly went viral when Andrew shared it on Twitter.
"Meet Robert Simmons. Was stuck in his house since last night, when floodwaters began to rise in New Bern," Andrew wrote on Twitter. "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."
"I feed him . . . I'm an animal lover."
The overflow from the Neuse River during Hurricane Florence caused the water level to become waist-high in some areas of New Bern, leaving local residents like Robert with few options other than to evacuate.
Robert, who's lived in the area for 40 years, told the News & Observer that this isn't the first time he's had to deal with a devastating storm. "We [have] been through Bertha, Fran, Irene, Matthew," he said. "And this is the worst it's ever been, in this part right here."
But for Robert, leaving Survivor behind was not an option: "I feed him . . . I'm an animal lover."
Although Robert's house didn't flood, he was forced to leave Survivor's mom behind because she was feral. In a Twitter update, Andrew also explained that Robert's elderly father opted to stay back at the house.