A kitten is lucky to be alive after spending three days trapped under the hood of a family’s car.
"All they heard was him meowing," said firefighter Brittany Bishop.
She and the rest of Tampa fire station 11 had their hands full Tuesday night when a couple showed up with an odd request.
"He said, 'I have a cat in my car,' and we're like, 'Did you hit the cat and it got stuck?'” said Bishop. “He said, 'No he's in our wheel well and we can’t get him out.'"
Sure enough, a peek inside the engine compartment revealed a brown and black striped kitten. Bishop said the cat refused to come out for two days, forcing the car owners to drive 6 miles for help.
"All cars have these fan belts, they have wires,” said Bishop, pointing out the dangers. “They're obviously hot also."
Somehow managing to avoid a probable death, the tabby was flushed out with hoses.
"He ran, but he didn’t run out of the car,” said Bishop with a giggle. “He just ran to the front of the car, then he would run to the back of the car and the other side of the car, I didn’t know there was that much room, but he found it."
The tough and rugged firefighters even resorted to something a little less masculine.
"AJ and Dwayne Marrow are these big tough dudes who work out. Our driver, John, is a big guy, too, and their down on the ground saying in a sweet voice, 'Come here kitty. It's OK,'" Bishop said.
But the pesky feline wouldn’t budge. Eventually their efforts did pay off after about a half an hour. The station's captain was finally able to pull the frightened and clawing kitten to safety.
"He was very skittish. Once we got a hold of him, he clung to us," Bishop said.
And he hasn’t let go. Despite a slightly burned paw and a little dirt, the kitten now aptly named KIA is enjoying his temporary digs with Bishop until he can find a permanent home.
If you’re interested in adopting KIA, you can contact Brittany Bishop at firstname.lastname@example.org.