A nine-week-old kitten that got wedged into the frame of a car somehow escaped with only minor scrapes despite travelling nearly 30 miles before the driver realised she was there.
The driver of the Honda Accord heard strange noises when he set off from Lexington, Kentucky, on Thursday morning, but did not discover the source until stopping at a restaurant in Frankfort after a journey of around 30 miles.
Luckily Hardee’s is next door to a car repair shop, Midas of Frankfort, so staff called across to store owner Scott Bourne.
Mr Bourne told PA: “I found the kitten with her head stuck in a hole in the subframe and she couldn’t get out. She was literally lodged in there.”
Mr Bourne set about working to free the kitten, with the help of technician Steve Kegley and a local firefighter, Kris Nelson, who happened to be in the shop.
They spent about an hour working to remove the subframe from the car, before being faced with the issue of how to get the kitten out.
“We got some foam soap and soaped up her neck,” Mr Bourne said. “We twisted her and moved her around.
“Finally we got her out after an hour or so. She was pretty worn out.”
Remarkably the kitten – who has been named Marigold in a reference to the daughter of King Midas – was given a clean bill of health from a vet aside from a few scratches and some earmites.
Mr Bourne described her as a “miracle kitten”.
He said: “This cat should not have lived. She should not have survived.
“The position she was in – all it would have taken would have been for him to hit a bump in the wrong way and it would have done some serious damage.”
Mr Bourne is an animal lover with three cats of his own, and he dedicated himself to the task of freeing her – even turning away business to do so.
“I literally shut my shop down,” he said. “For an hour-and-a-half we did nothing but get that cat out.”
On Sunday, Marigold will move into a new home with a regular customer at Midas, but for now she is lodging with Mr Bourne.
“She is absolutely the sweetest thing,” he said. “She’s eating, she’s healthy, she’s running around.
“She’s a trip. She’s absolutely a trip.”