Sharp-Eyed Motorist Spurs Dramatic Kitten Rescue

 |  Jul 21st 2011  |   8 Contributions


Dublin SPCA officer Lisa Kemp cuddles Freeway, the kitten she rescued from the M50 motorway.

The luck of the Irish was with a tiny kitten trapped on Dublin's busiest freeway.

Yesterday, motorists driving down the M50 motorway noticed a black and white kitten lost and alone, petrified with fear, huddling as close as it could to the concrete median divider as car after car whizzed by at speeds of at least 100 km/h (65 mph).

One of those drivers contacted the Dublin SPCA, and DSPCA staffer Lisa Kemp rushed to the scene. But when she got there, it was obvious there was no way she could safely rescue the cat without some serious assistance.

RT News reports that Kemp then contacted the Garda (Irish police) and asked for help with traffic control. Meanwhile, calls went out to the local media: almost instantly, radio and TV station announcers began asking motorists to slow down for the sake of the frightened feline's life.

After what must have seemed like an eternity to the DSPCA officer, who was visualizing the horrifying scene that would ensue if the cat decided to run across the freeway and "just willing him to stay put," the Garda arrived on the scene.

"The Garda were brilliant," Kemp said. "Traffic stopped. I ran with the cat basket and just grabbed him and ran back."

She took the kitten, whom she had dubbed Freeway, back to the RSPCA facility in Rathfarnham, where she cuddled him as he recovered from his ordeal.

The fact that Freeway survived being trapped on a highway is a miracle. But the story gets even happier: Although the RSPCA feared that the kitten had been dumped by someone who didn't want him, it turns out that his unfortunate situation was not the result of abandonment. Today, Freeway was reunited with his very relieved family.

I think this story would have a much different -- and much sadder -- ending if it took place on, say, the 405 Freeway, Lakeshore Drive or the Hudson Parkway. How many glazed-eyed, half-awake or exhausted, cell-phone distracted drivers robotically piloting their vehicles toward their destination, would heed the calls to slow down for the sake of one tiny, trapped, terrified kitten? Would the police have stopped traffic on crazy-busy highways during peak commute hours? I really don't know the answer to that.

My best friend lived in Ireland for several years, and she told me that the Irish have a special place in their hearts for feline-kind. Now there's bigger-than-life proof of that.

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