Kitten's incredible journey from Haydock to Bristol in van engine

  • Report by ITV Granada Reports correspondent Paul Crone

A cat has made an incredible journey spanning 170 miles from Haydock to Bristol hiding in the engine of a van.

Zetland Veterinary Group is trying to reunite the cat, who vets predict is between 12 to 14 weeks old, with his owner after he was brought to the practice in Redland on Thursday 28 July.

Miacarlla Harrison, who works at Parcelforce in Bristol, said one of the company's drivers discovered the kitten hiding in the engine of a van he had picked up in the Haydock area of Merseyside.

After he was discovered during the obligatory vehicle checks, the team managed to encourage him out and they brought him into the office.

Ms Harrison explained: "Once I found a vet that was willing to look after him I got one of my drivers to take him down to get him checked over.

"He was very scared initially as he obviously didn't know where he was and he had probably just fallen asleep in there and then all of a sudden there's hands and faces that he doesn't recognise trying to get hold of him.

"Once he was in the office though he had a little run around doing backflips off the wall so I nicknamed him 'Taz' after the Tasmanian devil."

The kitten, who has cream and brown markings and is believed to be a ragdoll breed, was taken to the vets to be assessed and checked for a microchip.

But, because the male kitten is too young to be chipped it makes the possibility of a reunion more difficult.

"Taz" the kitten with staff at the vets practice in Bristol Credit: Bristol Live

Vikki Flynn, a student veterinary nurse at the practice, said: "He's quite underweight and he was a bit dehydrated when he came in as well.

"We found ear mites in his ears and they were really dirty and he is showing signs of cat flu.

"He's not in tip top condition but considering he's been under a van bonnet he's been quite lucky".

Ms Flynn also explained the condition of the kitten - who the practice has named Reg - could suggest he might be a feral cat, but fortunately, he has tested negative for the feline virus.

The vet's mission is to try and locate the owner, if he has one, but if no one comes forward the practice will look into adoption with a local rescue centre.

She said "We need to give it a bit more time to potentially reach the owner, probably for about seven days and then we will look to re-home him".

"Our team has never experienced anything like this before with an animal travelling such a long distance.

"We do reunite cats quite often with their owners who have been missing for months and years, which is why it's so important to microchip your cat. That's how we're able to reunite them.

"It's not a legal requirement but we do reunite strays on a weekly to monthly basis."

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