When Jessica Leatherman’s 7-year-old daughter started first grade this year, she began taking the school bus. But she doesn’t wait at the bus stop alone.
She has someone special making sure she gets to school safely — the family’s rescue cat, Craig.
Leatherman adopted the black and white cat in 2019 after seeing him at an adoption event. Craig had spent eight and a half months in the shelter, and as soon as he joined the family, he fit right in.
“He is very, very laid back. I don’t think there’s a single thing that can rattle him — there could be thunder and lightning, and he doesn’t even wake up,” Leatherman told The Dodo. “When he is awake, he’s like a clown. He loves to knock things off of countertops to make you pay attention to him.”
Craig has a special relationship with Leatherman’s daughter and took note of her new morning routine. He started going to the door and meowing whenever she was leaving for the bus, so one day, Leatherman decided to open the door to let the cat see her daughter off.
“The bus stops right in front of our house, and I figured I’d let him come outside [so he could] hang out with me,” Leatherman said. “But instead of me, he chose to hang out with her, and he followed her down the sidewalk and down the driveway and just sat there the entire time she was waiting for the bus.”
“When it happened, I was like, ‘Is he really doing this?’ And as soon as she got on, I expected him to wander back to me, but he sat there and made sure she got on the bus and then watched it drive away,” she added. “He will not leave the corner of the bus stop until it is out of sight.”
Leatherman assumed Craig dropping off his sister at the bus stop would be a one-time thing, but it’s since become their morning routine — one that he takes very seriously.
“He’s been doing it every day,” Leatherman said. “He’s given himself the job. I don’t know why but it’s super sweet.”
Since Craig has taken over drop-off duty, he’s become a bit of a local celebrity.
“Now all the neighborhood kids know him, and the whole bus is like, ‘Craig!’ whenever they pull up,” Leatherman said. “So he’s just kind of become this sweet little neighborhood mascot in a way.”
And when Leatherman’s daughter returns home from school, the rescue cat is always there waiting for her. “They are two peas in a pod,” Leatherman said. “She’ll be sitting next to him, and he’ll just rub all over her and purr. It’s the cutest thing.”
“He’ll follow her around the house if he’s awake and just lie down near her, almost as if he’s protecting her,” she added.
Leatherman started posting adorable videos of Craig’s bus duty, and the sweet rescue cat now has fans around the world. But all Craig cares about is spending time with his favorite little person.
“A lot of people were saying in the comments for the videos that he just seems like a grandpa reincarnated that sees his little girl off to school,” Leatherman said. “And that’s just so him — he’s the grandpa that everyone wants.”