What could have been a true cat-astrophe on Tuesday luckily had a happy ending instead.
A cute kitten is now up for adoption in Henrico County, Virginia, after firefighters took on a new role as part-time mechanics, working to free the stray animal from underneath a car after it had gotten trapped inside the suspension.
“A citizen came by the fire station and told us that she had a cat that was stuck underneath her car,” Captain Will Aiken of the Henrico County Fire Department told local ABC affiliate, WRIC. Daniel Rosenbaum, public information officer for Henrico County Division of Fire, says he’s seen cats in plenty of other odd situations, but this is the first time he’s seen one actually up inside the car.
“There was a little cavity above the tire that allowed him to crawl up by the springs of the suspension,” said Rosenbaum. “He was just sitting up there resting.”
The driver of the car had no idea the kitten was there until she heard it while driving around running errands.
“This lady lives right near the fire house and she had noticed the kitten wandering around but it wouldn’t come to her over the past few days,” Rosenbaum explained. “She just got in the car to run a few errands and then heard the kitten so she went straight to the fire house to see if they could help.”
The firefighters immediately went outside to the parking lot to try to free the cat, but ultimately had to call the Technical Rescue Team at a nearby station for their assistance.
“We were able to lift the car up and remove the tire and we were able to access the kitten and with a little bit of work and a little smiling, we were able to get the kitten out with no injuries,” said Aiken.
Once freed, the firefighters took a moment to cuddle the roughly 8-week-old male kitten.
“It was a lighthearted moment,” said Aiken. “The kitten wasn’t injured and it was just neat to be able to do it and everybody got out without any injuries.”
The kitten, now affectionately nicknamed Axil, is resting at the Henrico County Animal Shelter.
“He is doing great,” said Rosenbaum, who checked on the lucky cat again today. “He has a great appetite and is in good health.”
Axil will be up for adoption on July 23 and, Rosenbaum was happy to report, “They have had a few inquiries about him."