Release date: 8 July 2021
A tiny nine-week-old kitten has been rescued by firefighters after travelling 40 miles underneath a car bonnet.
Retained (on-call) firefighters from Billingshurst were mobilised to Pulborough at 11.51am today after the driver of the car heard meowing coming from underneath the bonnet.
The driver had been travelling for more than an hour from Uckfield in East Sussex.
Retained Watch Commander at Billingshurst Fire Station, Brian Cook, said: “When the lady got out of her car there was no mistaking that there was something in the bonnet of the car that there shouldn’t be there. Not being able to see anything underneath there though, she called for help. When we arrived, we also couldn’t see any sign of anything under the bonnet, but we could definitely hear the little chap.
“We managed to create a bit of space underneath the engine, and out popped this little black kitten. He was so surprised by his new found freedom he launched himself out of the engine bay entirely and made a beeline for a nearby hedge.
“Fortunately the crew were able to track him down in the undergrowth using one of the thermal imaging cameras kept on the fire engine, but getting him to come out proved more difficult. Crew Manager Andrew Buddle then had the idea of playing a YouTube video of a mother cat meowing, which lured him out and we were able to catch him before he could bolt any further.”
The crew took the kitten to Arun Veterinary Group in Storrington, where he will be checked over and efforts made to reunite him with his owner.
Brian added: “Being only nine weeks old, the kitten isn’t microchipped, so identifying his original owner is going to be difficult. But this already very lucky kitten need not worry, as his unwitting chauffeur has already said that if his owner can’t be found, she will gladly provide him with a new home.”