Cerritos

Teachers Save Tiny Kitten Trapped in Car Engine

The little kitten has a new home thanks to a bystander who stepped in to help.

A tiny black-and-white kitten that became stuck in a car engine was rescued, and now has a new home, thanks to a group of cat lovers who sprang into action in Cerritos, California, Wednesday afternoon.

Melisande Maytorena, a teacher in the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, had gone out to lunch with co-workers to celebrate the end of their summer training when they noticed the kitten in the restaurant parking lot.

"He was crying so loud, it was scary, like he was hurt or something," Maytorena said. "He was hiding under one of my colleague's cars."

Maytorena and her co-workers went inside the restaurant to get water for the cat, but when they couldn't coax it out from under the car, decided to leave the water and try again when they were done with lunch.

But when they returned to the parking lot, the kitten was nowhere to be found.

"We couldn't find the cat but a lot of the water had been drunk," Maytorena said. "I told my co-worker, 'Don't start the car, I bet the baby went under the hood.'"

Sure enough, when they popped the hood of the Ford Flex, there was the little kitten. Though Maytorena said they were relieved to have found the cat before they started the car, they began to panic once they realized that no one could fit underneath the hood to reach it.

"We're all cat people so we were freaking out," she said.

That's when a young man who happened to be in the parking lot offered to help, and after more than an hour into the rescue effort, he was able to pull the tiny kitten from the engine.

"We couldn’t believe it," Maytorena said. "The cat was biting and scratching him but he didn’t let go."

Maytorena said the man, whose name they never learned, told them through tears that his own cat had recently died. Though Maytorena, who has two cats herself, was prepared to take the kitten home, once she saw the man holding the little cat she said she knew it was meant to be.

"We all started crying," Maytorena said. "As soon as he hugged the cat, it stopped crying and started purring just like that. It was like he found his human."

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