Stowaway kitten rescued after 40 mile journey under car bonnet

080721-kitten rescued-west sussex fire and rescue
Credit: West Sussex Fire and Rescue

A kitten has been rescued by firefighters after it travelled 40 miles under the bonnet of a car.

On-call firefighters from Billingshurst in West Sussex were called to Pulborough at 11.51am on Thursday (8 July), after the driver of the car heard meowing.

She had been travelling for more than an hour from Uckfield in East Sussex when she heard the noise.

When she wasn't able to see anything, she called West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service who arrived to seek out the stowaway.

A nine-week-old kitten then popped out after firefighters managed to create a bit of space underneath the engine.

Retained Watch Commander at Billingshurst Fire Station, Brian Cook, said: "He was so surprised by his new found freedom he launched himself out of the engine bay entirely and made a beeline for a nearby hedge."

Credit: West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

“Fortunately the crew were able to track him down in the undergrowth using one of the thermal imaging cameras kept on the fire engine, but getting him to come out proved more difficult."

It wasn't until Crew Manager Andrew Buddle had the idea of playing a YouTube video of a mother cat meowing.

The trick lured the kitten out and he was able to be captured before he could run off again.

Brian added: “Being only nine weeks old, the kitten isn’t microchipped, so identifying his original owner is going to be difficult. But this already very lucky kitten need not worry, as his unwitting chauffeur has already said that if his owner can’t be found, she will gladly provide him with a new home.”

The crew took the kitten to Arun Veterinary Group in Storrington, where he will be checked over and efforts made to reunite him with his owner.