Santa Ana, CA firefighters dismantled a car to remove a tiny kitten trapped in the vehicle’s fender well yesterday.
Janet Le heard sounds as she got into her Honda SUV to head out to work. She stopped at a restaurant to investigate, lifted the hood, but found nothing and continued on. She pulled over again near Santa Ana Fire Station No. 8 then walked to the station to ask for help.
“She asked us to take a look — we could actually hear the kitten,” said fire Capt. Tony Salerno. “We tried to find it, but we were having some difficulty locating it.
“We couldn’t let the lady just leave,” firefighter Tony Vu said. “She was so worried and she didn’t want to drive the car anywhere. She said every time she turned the car on she could hear the cat screaming,”
The firefighters looked to no avail until one man, also a mechanic, began removing parts in a effort to locate the source of the meows. The very young gray striped kitten was found in the left fender well, near the battery.
According to a vivid account in the Orange County Register:
“The firefighters pushed the car across the street and started trying to scare the cat from its hiding spot. They used an air hose and rocked the car back and forth but nothing worked, Vu said.
“We started to take apart the front end of the car,” he said. “We took out the air filter, the fender wheel, the skid plate and the battery.”
Then, a sign of life.
“Sure enough when we pulled everything out we saw a tiny tail right inside the fender,” Vu said.
Firefighters removed the cat and Orange County Animal Control took over. Vu said Animal Control officers are trying to find the striped cat an adoptive home.
Four firefighters helped with the rescue.”
According to Capt. Salerno. “We also noticed that the lady’s brake fluid was low, so we went ahead and topped that off for her, too.”
Animal control took the kitten to a shelter where, according to one report, it will be made available for adoption.