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Kitten does more than purr under the hood

A very lucky kitten was saved by the SPCA Saturday, after a harrowing ride to Hamilton from St. George's in the engine of a car.

On Saturday morning Phillipa Mello, the chief inspector from the SPCA, was contacted by Valerie Wallace, of the Bermuda Feline Assistance Bureau, after Ms Wallace was startled by a "mewing" car outside of the Trends store on Reid Street, in Hamilton.

Ms Mello arrived and they soon determined that a small cat was inside the engine area of the car.

The kitten, which had been attracted by the warmth of the motor, had most likely slept inside the car, said Ms. Wallace. She said the kitten was lucky it did not chose any moving parts for his bed because he was still inside when Danny Ray, the owner, started the car and drove all the way from St. George's that morning. Mr. Ray had heard some "funny noises" while he was driving though, said Ms Wallace.

But the question which then arose for the rescuers was how to get the cat out.

In what turned out to be a lengthy process, the male kitten, who is now named Reid (after Reid Street) resisted all attempts to be rescued.

"You could imagine how hard it is looking for a wild black kitten among black engine parts," said Ms Wallace. "I was sitting there talking to a hub cap, so I was looking pretty silly."

Finally, after an hour and a half of stubbornly refusing to remove himself from the engine, Reid did wriggle out, only to jump into the engine of another car.

In fact, the kitten jumped into five more cars all along Reid Street, including a cleaning truck with a running engine, before he could finally be captured by the SPCA.

"He went from outside of Trends to outside of Coconut rock, across the street to the Washington Mall and back up the street to the Gibbons Company" said Ms Wallace as she described Reid's leap frog journey from car to car.

All the while he was being chased by rescuers with open towels.

"Statistically the chance of catching him was 1,000 to one," Ms Wallace said. "I really though we didn't have a hope. I kept on thinking the little thing was going to run in front of a car and get smooshed."

He didn't get run over but the small creature did manage to attract a large crowd of onlookers.

"It turned into a regular dog and pony show," said Ms Mello.

Ms Wallace said she was amazed at how the rescue become a "real joint effort of the community with people coming down from their offices to help".

"Maybe we should have named him Lucky," said Ms Mello.

Reid, who after Saturday's commotion was also almost named Chaos, is now doing well.

"He's a beautiful little black kitten," said Ms Mello.

According to Ms Mello, once Reid is cleared for feline leukaemia and other diseases, he will be ready for adoption.

And in a neat turn of events, the owners of the car which transported Reid to town have already applied to adopt him.