Kitten trapped under hood of car steals women’s hearts — and afternoon — downtown

Two Kansas City women attending the Tallgrass Film Festival in downtown Wichita on Thursday were walking back to their room at the Drury Plaza Hotel when they heard the sounds of meowing.

Jaime Kelsey told The Eagle that they were walking along First Street around 2 p.m. when she heard the “frantic meowing.”

“We followed the sound to a nearby building under construction thinking the kitten had wandered in and couldn’t get out,” Kelsey said.

“We finally tracked it down to a parked car outside the building.”

The next two hours would see Kelsey and her friend Lisa Bond going through a list trying to rescue the kitten, including calls to the Humane Society, animal control, Wichita Fire Department and even Wichita Police patrol north.

Lisa Bond (left) and Jaime Kelsey came down from Kansas City, Missouri for the Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita last week. Jaime Kelsey/Courtesy
Lisa Bond (left) and Jaime Kelsey came down from Kansas City, Missouri for the Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita last week. Jaime Kelsey/Courtesy

All hope seemed lost until Patricia Morriss, owner of Lifeline Animal Animal Protection and Protection, answered the phone.

“One of my last desperate calls to a rescue was Lifeline Animal Protection. An individual by the the name of Pat gave me a phone number to text with instructions to let them know ‘Pat says it’s an emergency,’” Kelsey said.

A few minutes later Gae Harrison responded to the text saying “on my way.” Harrison is a friend of Morriss’ and volunteers rescuing kittens for LLAP, Morriss said over the phone.

Harrison arrived with a small can of wet cat food and an app on her phone that uses “mama cat meows” in hopes of luring out the kitten. But it didn’t work.

Several people stopped and observed the attempt to rescue the kitten. Kelsey said that every time someone walked by, she and Bond “blurted out, almost in unison ‘is this your car?’”

“Another leery passerby approached and was met with our frantic inquiry. When he said ‘yes,’ we collectively took a pause in disbelief before erupting in excitement.”

The owner of the car told Kelsey that he had heard meowing earlier that day when he took the parking spot, but that he couldn’t tell where it was coming from.

“We hurried him to pop his hood so we could finally lay eyes on the mischievous kitty who had stolen our hearts (and afternoon). Gae quickly located the jet-black ball of fur and plucked the baby from the engine bay compartment by its little scruff,” Kelsey wrote in a note to The Eagle.

Kelsey, who owns a black cat and two dogs, says she is grateful she was able to rescue the kitten.

“Hearing the meows is almost like hearing a baby cry. It just pulls at your heart,” Kelsey said. “Then just knowing if someone came down and started the car it could have killed the cat.”

Harrison took the kitten and is currently fostering it.

Kelsey and Bond returned to Kansas City the next day.

“We all went our separate ways dirty and exhausted,” Kelsey said. “I know that black cats are sometimes hard to find homes for, but even in this month of Halloween, I’m sure this sweet baby will find a home.”