She lifted the hood and looked inside. Was it all in her head? The sound had disappeared after taking the keys out of the ignition, so maybe there was an issue with the engine itself.
Then before she could lower the hood, she heard it again. She had to do something before it was too late.
Jennifer Donini was late for work. She knew her boss had been getting to the office early that week and there was no way she could face walking in even one minute past her usual start time.
After a quick swig of coffee and throwing on the first outfit she could find, the Illinois resident grabbed her keys and headed for her car. If only she’d had time for a quick inspection.
Jennifer quickly pulled away and headed to work, hoping desperately not to catch the typical rush hour traffic that would make her even later. Should she call in and explain, or cross her fingers that she’d catch a break and make it just in time?
But as she turned the corner to the highway, she saw something that filled her with dread.
It was worse than she feared. Jennifer slowly approached the standstill traffic and threw any hope that she might get to work on time out the window. She realized she needed to bite the bullet and call into the office.
But before she could dial, she heard a strange sound coming from the engine. “Great,” said Jennifer aloud. “Engine trouble… That’s just what I need today!”
Jennifer was already going to get in trouble at work, so she couldn’t afford to pull over. And even if she did, she knew nothing about cars so wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.
But the sound was getting louder, and she didn’t want to break down on top of everything else. She had no choice but to pull over and investigate.
Jennifer lifted the hood of the car. She knew nothing about cars. The only way she could have worked out what was wrong would be if there was a big red arrow pointing to a switch that fixed the noise. Perhaps it was the alarm malfunctioning.
It was no use, she’d need to call her dad. But then suddenly, she heard the sound again.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Jennifer recalled. “I didn’t know what in the world to do.” She leaned into the inside of the car, but she couldn’t see anything. The engine wasn’t even on. It almost sounded like…
At this point, she was already late for work. And if it was what she thought it was, she certainly couldn’t start the engine again. She called her dad to explain.
“Did you get a cat?” her dad asked. “Thank you!” said Jennifer, relieved that she wasn’t going crazy thinking there might be a feline stowaway stuck inside the car.
Jennifer’s dad reached inside the car, careful not to burn his hand on the hot engine, but he couldn’t get deep enough inside. They were going to need some help.
Soon enough, Jennifer’s mom also showed up with some cold water to bring the temperature down under the hot hood and allow them to reach in a little further. But still, they couldn’t find anything.
Then, after one long hour of searching, they finally pulled something out of the engine bay that was clearly the root of the problem.
The Donini family discovered a kitten who had found his way into the hood of the car and got stuck behind the engine. Jennifer couldn’t work out how it had survived the heat and the trip. How long had it been there?
Despite being just seven weeks old, the cat was given a check-up at the local veterinarian clinic and left with a clean bill of health. But there was still the problem of what to do with him.
Jennifer posted a picture of the cat on her Facebook page explaining the story and appealed for a home for the little lost kitty – and her friends fell in love with him.
The post quickly went viral, but Jennifer was delighted to see who had offered to take the cat in. “He is certainly a very lucky duck!” Jennifer mused.
Jennifer’s boss had been looking to adopt a kitten and was over the moon when her new pet was brought into the office the next day. She named him “Duck”. And needless to say, Jennifer was off the hook for being late.
Cats must be made of tougher stuff than it seems. Could you have survived a trip under the hood of a car?