One life and 20 miles for cat hid­den un­der bon­net

With­out a col­lar or chip, lift is a hitch for wan­der­ing ‘Ford’

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE - By Guy Bell gbell@thek­m­ @gbel­lKM

A cat used up one of its nine lives after sur­viv­ing a trip up Blue Bell Hill trapped un­der the bon­net of a van.

The moggy, thought to be about eight months old, was dis­cov­ered when the driver of the van re­turned home from a day of work in Maid­stone and heard me­ow­ing com­ing from the front of the ve­hi­cle.

The cat, nick­named Ford, was freed from the en­gine be­fore fol­low­ing the driver into his home. He was then res­cued by An­i­mals Lost and Found in Kent.

Natasha McPhee, the foun­da­tion’s direc­tor, is hope­ful of track­ing down Ford’s owner – if not, he will be found a new home.

She said: “The driver had gone from Chatham to work in Maid­stone and drove back to Chatham at the end of the day.

“He heard me­ow­ing com­ing from his van and he didn’t know if the cat had got into the en­gine in Chatham or in Maid­stone.

“He opened it up and saw this cat cov­ered in oil and he let it out. It wouldn’t leave him alone so he let it into his house but he couldn’t look after it be­cause he had to be up for work the next day.

“His face was nice and clean but the white bits on his paws were re­ally dirty and he smelled of en­gine oil. “

Natasha picked up Ford from Mag­pie Hall Road, Chatham, on Thurs­day, and has been car­ing for him since.

She said: “We no­ticed the cat wasn’t chipped or neutered, he wasn’t wear­ing a col­lar and he had fleas on him and we had to take him to the vet for a check.

“We haven’t heard from his owner. We have had a cou­ple of peo­ple come for­ward say­ing he might be their cat but the mark­ings de­scribed were dif­fer­ent.

“If he was chipped we could have got him home within an hour. It is made ex­cep­tion­ally hard when a cat doesn’t have a mi­crochip.”

If you think Ford is yours, search An­i­mals Lost and Found in Kent on Face­book.

Natasha McPhee with ‘Ford’, who was dis­cov­ered hid­ing in the en­gine of a van which had driven from Chatham to Maid­stone and back be­fore be­ing found

Fred Butcher con­fessed

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