Cat rescued from engine block after girl heard meowing and saw her tail dangling from her car

The car was locked, so Vancouver Island Fire Department called police, who broke in without doing any damage, then opened the hood.

Central Saanich Police and firefighters worked together Saturday to rescue a cat that was 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 mewing in distress and realized the sound was coming from the car parked next to her family’s, Central Saanich Fire Captain Dan Little said Tuesday.

« They saw a small tail hanging under the car from the engine bay, » Little said. « They entered the restaurant but couldn’t find out who the owner of the car was, so they decided to call us to see if there was anything we could do about it. »

The car was locked, so the firefighters called the gendarmerie. Officers discovered the owner was in the Lower Mainland and broke into the car without doing any damage, then opened the hood, Little said.

“And of course there was a big old cat stuck between the engine and the firewall of the car. He got up there somehow from below and couldn’t get out. He was pretty well stuck in there. He was a pretty big cat,” Little said.

« When captain Jared Blaikie bent down to try to reach him, he was crying but not angry, » he added. « He was ‘Get me out.’ ”

Blaikie had his arm between the firewall and the engine. Little pulled a few hoses from the radiator and managed to get his hand behind the cat. Blaikie grabbed the cat’s neck and the two firefighters pushed him up and pulled him to safety.

“He was grateful to be out and gave a little meow when we took him to the top. He didn’t seem to be cut or bleed or burned. But it was very dirty, covered in engine grime. He just crawled into Jared’s arm and meowed a bit,” Little said.

Nearby residents didn’t seem to know where the tabby came from, so the family that found it drove to the Capital Regional District shelter on the highway and dropped it off.

Little said he’s never had to save a cat before, but he’s heard of raccoons and even rats climbing into cars to get warmed by the engine block. These kinds of calls provide a sense of satisfaction, the captain said.

“It has been very rewarding for us. The little girl was really happy to see the cat come out. And it was kind of nice to see that the family took the time and didn’t ignore the sounds they were hearing. I think the little girl is a hero to me,” Little said.

According to the CRD, the cat was not returned to its original owner.

« He will be relocated as requested by the original owner, » the CRD said in an email.

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