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Tiny Kitten Seeks Refuge Under Car’s Hood, Suffers Severe Injuries

Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 1:00pm
ASPCA Vet holds kitten

While winter weather poses many threats to animals, perhaps one of the most serious dangers occurs when cats and other small animals seek warmth from the engines of parked cars. One such unlucky cat was Flapjack, a tiny kitten found on the side of the road in New York City last December. Fortunately, a Good Samaritan spotted Flapjack and brought him to the ASPCA Animal Hospital.

It was clear that Flapjack had been caught in a car’s engine. He was suffering from multiple serious injuries, including a fractured lower jaw, a severe tongue laceration and other wounds.

ASPCA Veterinarian Dr. Maren Krafchik says the hospital staff performed the first of three surgeries on Flapjack that same day, including using wire to repair his jaw and inserting a feeding tube to help him eat.

This brave little kitten is now happy and healthy with his foster parent, an ASPCA veterinary technician. He had his feeding tube removed and can now eat normally, and the swelling he experienced as a result of his injuries has gone down a great deal.

We’re so relieved that Flapjack has recovered, but his story provides a valuable lesson to anyone who drives during the winter months. According to Dr. Krafchik, there are multiple ways to prevent such injuries, including:

  • knocking on the hood of your car
  • honking your car’s horn
  • checking under your car’s hood to ensure that a small animal is not inside.  If you start your car and hear something unusual, turn off your engine immediately.

Keep your pets healthy and safe this winter by checking out our full list of cold weather pet care tips.

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Thank you. All of you are angels and true examples of what all of us should be.


Oh, little Flapjack, I am so sorry that you suffered such painful injuries. I am grateful to Dr. Krafchik for her remarkable care of you. I am grateful that a good samaritan found you and brought you to the animal hospital. I am sure that your foster family has taken loving and sensitive care of you. We wish you a full and steady recovery. As Andrea said in her post, "all are angels."

John Silva

God bless the ASPCA! I'm a monthly Guardian member.


I love ASPCA and the care and love they have for animals. Thank God somebody came to his rescue, must have been an angel.....


Finding my Sonny under my car hood is how I became a kitty parent. I was very fortunate that he was not injured just scared. So happy that someone found Flapjack and were able to take him to get the care he needed. Flapjack is a beautiful cat.


Wonderful outcome. We had that happen to us when I was a child with much worse outcome since the poor little guy got stuck in the fan. Never forget that :-(

Kevin H.

@Tom, yes the same thing happened when I was a child - exactly the same situation. I have never forgotten it. It's a very dangerous situation for a cat. I bet this happens often, but never gets mentioned much. Wish there was a better way to protect the animals. Appreciated the tips about knocking on the hood, sounding the horn, etc.


years ago, my own cat crawled up into the engine compartment without us knowing, poor thing, when we started the truck, its tail gat whacked by the fan blade and was broken. She went into shock. There was no blood, the tail is pretty much bone covered by flesh, but, I would think it is an extension of the spine and many nerves. We had her tail amputated.....


Yay, go Flapjack! Good job guys, it's nice knowing you're out there.

Donna Garrett

I have 2 cats, but they stay inside. Thank you for saving Flapjack