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Cat survives five-mile trip under bonnet of car on school run

Four-year-old pet Rose was discovered hiding behind the engine looking terrified.
Four-year-old pet Rose was discovered hiding behind the engine looking terrified. Four-year-old pet Rose was discovered hiding behind the engine looking terrified.

A cat survived a five-mile round trip under the bonnet of a Vauxhall Astra on the school run after she escaped from her home.

Four-year-old pet Rose was discovered when David King, 65, popped his bonnet to do an oil check after completing his journey in Sheerness, Kent, having dropped his grandson at school in Minster.

Mr King’s wife Tina King, 67, said: “He came running in shouting for me to come have a look. I thought whatever’s wrong?

Indoor-only cat Rose got into a tricky position after escaping from her home in Sheerness, Kent. (Cats Protection/ PA)
Indoor-only cat Rose got into a tricky position after escaping from her home in Sheerness, Kent. (Cats Protection/ PA) Indoor-only cat Rose got into a tricky position after escaping from her home in Sheerness, Kent (Cats Protection/ PA)

“What I didn’t expect to see was two eyes staring back at him from a ball of fluff. We weren’t even sure it was alive.

“I gently prodded it with a stick to check it was breathing and saw it was a terrified little cat.

“It reversed even further into the engine and was stuck.

“I tried to reach it but it was too far down and there wasn’t any way I could coax it out.

Rose is usually an indoor-only pet and was later reunited with her owner, Mr King’s neighbour Allison Webster, 48, after a rescue by Cats Protection.

Retired couple Mr and Mrs King had initially called their roadside assistance service.

When they were unable to help they rang a local vet, who suggested that they try Cats Protection.

Kim Braysher, welfare team leader at Cats Protection’s Swale Branch, came to Rose’s rescue.

“When we opened the bonnet, we saw two wide eyes staring back at us,” she said.

“She was understandably frightened and trembling. She must have been petrified all the time the car was driving on the busy school run.”

Ms Braysher said they tried to calm Rose but she “backed away, burying herself deeper into the engine cavity”.

They then jacked the car up and took off a front wheel off so Ms Braysher could reach in from underneath and was able to free the cat.

Rose the cat was rescued after a five-mile round trip under the bonnet of a Vauxhall Astra on the school run. (Cats Protection/ PA)
Rose the cat was rescued after a five-mile round trip under the bonnet of a Vauxhall Astra on the school run. (Cats Protection/ PA) Rose the cat was rescued after a five-mile round trip under the bonnet of a Vauxhall Astra on the school run (Cats Protection/ PA)

Rose had a microchip, and Ms Braysher was able to trace her owner, despite the contact number being out of date, by driving to the registered address which was nearby.

Ms Webster said of Rose’s adventure: “On Monday morning, I thought she was asleep in my son’s bedroom on his windowsill but I felt something was wrong after he left for school and she never appeared.

“She always gallops around the house after being fed, so I was surprised but relieved when I answered the door to Cats Protection.

“Rose is my family and she had quite an experience with all that she went through. She must have been so afraid when the car was moving along the roads.

“I feel so blessed that she had Cats Protection as well as a lovely couple who were willing and able to bring Rose home to me.”

Ms Webster said that Rose appeared unscathed by her ordeal, and that her microchip details have been updated.

“Rose is back to galloping around the house as if nothing happened but I’m pretty sure she has used up one of her nine lives,” said Ms Webster.

“Bless her, she’s a very lucky cat and I’m lucky to have her.”