It’s freezing cold here in New York City, so one of our town’s clever stray cats found a way to keep warm: hiding under the hood of a parked car. This is a common scenario – the cat accesses this part of the vehicle from underneath, like an investigative mechanic – but obviously it can be fatal for the animal once ignition happens and the engine heats up. Happily, this cat – a sweet, friendly, gray-and-white fellow wearing a flea collar – made his presence known by…urinating.
“We were driving and we started smelling cat pee,” said Florence Giordano, who opened her car hood to find the kitty sitting on the battery! A quick scan at the vet revealed that the cat has no microchip, so Florence named him Lucky.
Note to Catster readers: Florence cannot keep him as she already has a cat and a dog, so Lucky the cat is shacked up with an elderly neighbor who, sadly, cannot keep him either. To adopt Lucky, who is one year old and weighs 7 lbs., please call Florence at 917-657-6399. (This article was published on 2/23/11 and we will update this page when Lucky finds a home!)
Meanwhile, a parked car is just one of many hazardous hiding places for cats. If your car’s parked outdoors in cold weather, please bang on your hood and honk your horn to rouse a possibly sleeping feline and give him/her a chance to crawl out before you start your engine.
Here are the other 9 top hiding places to be aware of – especially if you have a kitten, whose extra-small size and extra-curious nature could land him in a very tight spot.
1. Dishwasher – Always look for Kitty before starting the machine.
2. Washer-dryer – Don’t leave the door open when not in use; always check inside before starting a cycle.
3. Wood stove – Light the kindling and shut the door only AFTER doing a thorough check.
4. Reclining chair (La-Z-Boy) – Believe it or not, this is a prime small-animal hiding spot, so check under the seat and evict the previous occupant before you recline, to prevent injury.
5. Cardboard delivery boxes – Cats are notorious box nesters, so take care not to throw Kitty out with the recycling.
6. Workers’ tool boxes (electrician, handy man, etc) – Cats see these as fun new hiding places worth investigating.
7. Guitar cases – See #6; cats are so exquisitely tuned to music that they probably want to leave with the musician.
8. Luggage or gym bags – Close these when not in use, to prevent pet hair buildup as well as an accidental departure.
9. Dresser drawers – These should remain shut so they don’t turn into kitty traps (and kitty hair traps).
About the Author: Journalist, author, and pet lifestyle expert Julia Szabo writes the Living With Dogs column for Dogster.com and is the proud slave of 6 rescued cats. Follow her on Twitter @PetReporter1.