A furry hitchhiker huddled behind a skid-plate in the undercarriage of a big pickup truck survived a 70 mile trip in Washington last week. The 6-week-old female tabby has a bum leg but according to the truck’s owner, Rod Thomas, has lots of spunk. I never knew she was there till I heard the faintest, tiniest meow-ing. It was a real surprise.

Thomas, who’s a sales rep in Wenatchee, said the kitten now dubbed Lucky huddled in the trucks underbelly for what must have been a harrowing trip. I still cant quite believe how this all unfolded, he said. But everything turned out OK, and she seems to be happy and healthy.

As Thomas traveled to Moses Lake that fateful morning, a bird flew into the path of the truck. Thomas said a glance in the rearview mirror didnt show the birds body on the highway. I thought it must still be stuck in the trucks front grille, he said. I decided to check it when I got to Moses Lake.

At his destination, Thomas checked the grille for the dead bird but didnt find it. As he inspected the bumper, then checked under the truck, he thought he heard the tiniest squeak of a meow. I thought, What the heck is that? he said.

Looking more closely, Thomas said he heard a faint meowing coming from under the truck. He scooted under the chassis but didnt see or hear anything. He listened again. And again. Then he saw a thin, furry tail protruding from behind the skid-plate.

I gently tugged on it, he said. It pulled away, was gone for a second, and then a blur, then this little fuzzy head peeks out.

Thomas said it took about five minutes to coax the nervous kitten from the innards of the truck. She was spooked, thats for sure, but we got the poor thing out and made a place for her in the back of the pickup.

Men came out of the sales meeting and helped to gather up food and water bowls, a couple of old sweatshirts to use as a sleeping pad and cardboard for a makeshift litter box. They opened the windows of the pickups canopy so shed have lots of air and checked the kitten frequently during the sales meeting to make sure she was OK.

We found her asleep on the sweatshirts, looking calm and comfortable, Thomas said.

On Friday morning, Thomas took Lucky to the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society for a checkup. They found no injuries, but they did note that Lucky has a deformed front foot shes most likely had from birth. They scanned for a microchip with no luck, and found no reports of anyone missing the small kitten.

Now Rod needs to decide if he wants to keep the kitten, said Stephanie Manriquez, the Humane Societys executive director. Of course, if he decides not to keep it, then well try to find her a good home.

Thomas is undecided. Hes allergic to cats, so hasnt had a house cat in many years. But he and his wife do like to have a cat a mouser out in their hay barn for rodent control. Their barn cat recently died, so they’ve been considering getting another cat.

Shes probably not the cat wed choose for the barn, he said, but all my friends are pointing out that this is a turn of fate we need a cat, and one appears in a kind of magical way.

At perhaps it’s kismet. Todays my birthday, he said, holding Lucky in his arms. Here she is, right on my 45th birthday.

[SOURCE: WenatcheeWorld.com]