When a Hamilton, New Zealand, civil engineering technician hopped into his company car to visit a job site, he thought it would be business as usual.
Stephen Parker drove the Mitsubishi Lancer to the town of Huntly, about 20 miles away — the first time the vehicle had been used in two weeks — and all seemed well on the way out. But on his return trip, the car began making odd noises.
“I heard a kitten cry around Gordonton,” Parker said. “I stopped to see if I could find it, opened the [hood], but couldn’t see anything so presumed it had run away.”
Several hundred feet up the road, he heard the noise again. He looked around once more, but he still couldn’t find any evidence of a feline stowaway.
When he arrived back at the office an hour later, the cat meowed again. This time, he called a mechanic. The specialist removed some of the car’s body panels and found the black-and-white kitten lodged in the right front wheel arch by the engine compartment.
The feline was unharmed by her ordeal. “She’s a very lucky cat that’s for sure,” Parker said.
“Unbeknown to me, someone heard a cat meow around the yard area that morning but they couldn’t see anything it wasn’t a big deal then.”
Parker named the cat Lancer, and the receptionist at his company decided to adopt her.
But Lancer’s friendliness towards humans had Parker wondering if the cat might already have a home.
Waikato, New Zealand, SPCA acting manager Tracy Wilde said it would be natural for a kitten to make its way under a car hood because the environment is similar to that of a box, a kitten’s normal home.
“Presumably it would be nice and small, and safe and dark,” Wilde said.”That’s what kittens like.”