Central Saanich police and fire worked together Saturday to rescue a cat stuck in the engine compartment of a car parked outside the McDonald’s restaurant on Mount Newton Cross Road.
A little girl with her family heard the cat meowing in distress and realized the sound was coming from the car parked next to her family’s, Central Saanich Fire Capt. Dan Little said Tuesday.
“They saw a little tail hanging down underneath the car from the engine compartment,” said Little. “They went into the restaurant but couldn’t find out who was the owner of the car so they decided to call us to see if we could do anything about it.”
The car was locked, so the firefighters called the police department. Officers found out the owner was on the Lower Mainland and broke into the car without doing any damage, then opened up the hood, said Little.
“And sure enough, there was a big old cat stuck between the engine and the firewall of the car. He’d got himself up there somehow from underneath and couldn’t get out. He was jammed in there pretty good. He was a pretty big-size kitty,” said Little.
“When Capt. Jared Blaikie reached down to try and get to him, he was crying at him but not in a angry way,” he added. “He was ‘Get me out.’ ”
Blaikie had his arm down between the firewall and the engine. Little pulled back some of the radiator hoses and managed to get his hand in behind the cat. Blaikie got hold of the nape of the cat’s neck and the two firefighters squeezed him up and out to safety.
“He was thankful to be out and gave a little meow when we got him to the top. He didn’t seem to be cut or bleeding or burnt. But he was very dirty, covered in dirt from the engine. He just tucked right into Jared’s arm and meowed a little bit,” said Little.
Nearby residents didn’t seem to know where the tabby was from, so the family that found him drove to the Capital Regional District shelter on the highway and dropped him off.
Little said he’s never had to rescue a cat before but he has heard of raccoons and even rats climbing into cars to be warmed by the engine block.These kinds of calls provide a sense of satisfaction, said the captain.
“It was very rewarding for us. The little girl was really happy to see the cat come out. And it was kind of nice to see the family took the time and didn’t ignore the sounds they were hearing. I think the little girl is a hero to me,” said Little.
According to the CRD, the cat was not returned to its original owner.
“It will be rehomed as per the original owner’s request,” the CRD said in an email.
>>> To comment on this article, write a letter to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org