When a cat goes missing, it is devastating for their owner as they have no idea when or if they will see their beloved feline again. Fortunately, most cats turn up again at some point. Often, they have simply been accidentally locked in a neighbor’s shed, or they have been looked after by someone in the local area. However, there are some occasions when a cat turns up somewhere further afield in strange circumstances. This was the case for a cat that was found 130 miles from home. The BBC reported that appeals were being made to find the owner of a cat that had traveled a significant distance from its home in a car engine. The cat took its unusual and unexpected trip on Christmas Day in the UK when it became trapped in a car engine.
According to The Celia Hammond Animal Trust, the tortoiseshell cat was found inside the car’s engine when it pulled up outside a block of flats in East London. The car had begun its journey in Birmingham and had since traveled approximately 130 miles from its starting point. Staff from the trust say that the female cat has a friendly and sweet nature. It also looks as though she has been well cared for by someone. This has led them to believe that it is most likely that the cat is a pet rather than a stray. Therefore, it is likely that there is somebody out there who is now desperately searching for their much-loved, missing cat. The trust scanned the cat for a microchip, as this is the quickest and easiest way of reuniting a missing cat with its owner. Unfortunately, the cat has not been fitted with a microchip, which is making it far more difficult to reunite her with her owner. The only clue to where the cat is from is that the car in which she traveled came from Birmingham.
As there was no microchip, the staff from the trust resorted to putting a post on Facebook about the cat. They hoped that people would share it enough until it was seen either by the cat’s owner or by someone who knows them. The post describes how the car pulled up in East London, and people outside the flats told the driver they could hear meowing coming from inside the car. Immediately, the driver opened the car bonnet, and that is when he realized that there had been a cat trapped in the engine compartment for his entire journey. People who lived in the block of flats in Birmingham took in the cat to care for her and contacted the animal rescue charity. The rescuers continued to look after the cat until the animal rescue charity was able to collect her and take her to their shelter.
Celia Hammond, the founder of the charity, said that the cat had been completely unharmed in this incident, although she was very frightened. She was very fortunate as not all cats are so lucky. Many other cats who have become trapped in a car engine have suffered significant injuries. Either they have suffered serious burns from the heat inside the engine, or they have lost limbs that have become entangled in the engine’s moving parts. In some particularly tragic cases, there have even been cat fatalities in these circumstances. As traveling in a car engine is so dangerous for cats, it may make you wonder why so many of them do this. In most cases, the answer is simply that they climb into the engine to enjoy a nap in a warm place, says Wide Open Pets. These situations are most common when it is cold outside. The cats feel the heat of the engine, and the warm, dark interior seems like a nice and cozy place to curl into a ball.
When cats climb in to keep warm and have a quick sleep, there are no signs to car owners that their engine compartment is housing a cat. They drive off completely oblivious to the cat’s presence and they do not intend to put them at risk. When they realize that there is a cat inside the engine compartment, it is usually a big shock to the driver. Situations like these are some of the most typical circumstances that cause missing cats to appear hundreds of miles from their homes. Often, the drivers have had no idea that they have shared their journey with a cat, and the cat simply escapes from the engine after the car has stopped. The cat is then picked up by animal rescue who scan the cats and discover that they are miles from home. Since the tortoiseshell cat was discovered in Birmingham, the Facebook appeal has so far been unsuccessful, despite the post receiving many likes and shares. However, this is not the only strategy that the trust has used in their attempts to locate the cat’s owner and reunite them.
They have also been regularly checking on lost pet sites, especially those relating to the Birmingham area, to see if anyone is looking for a missing cat that matches her description. So far, their search has been fruitless. Hammond has described it as looking for a needle in a haystack as they have no idea where the cat has come from. Birmingham is a huge city divided into many neighborhoods and suburbs. Unfortunately, the people who took in the cat from the driver did not ask him where in Birmingham he had driven from. At the time, they were more interested in making sure the cat was fed, warm, and safe. The only hope now of reuniting the cat with its owner is them seeing the Facebook post or them listing their cat as missing on one of the lost pet sites. Sadly, it is possible that in this situation the pair may never be reunited.