Injured Cat Rescued From Car Engine Adopted Just in Time for the Holidays

December 29, 2015

When Bronx, New York resident Joe R. brought his car in for an oil change four days before Christmas, he had no idea two lives would be changed that day as well.

As Joe sat in the waiting area, another car pulled into the bay. When technicians opened the hood of that car, they found an orange cat wedged next to the engine block.

Joe rushed over to see if the cat was alive.

“I started working to get her out, and a mechanic helped me. She was meowing and meowing,” Joe says. “After a little work, I removed her.”

Joe phoned his girlfriend, Teri C., who drove over with a cat carrier and some snacks.

“It was like she hadn’t eaten in days,” Joe remembers. “I hated to see her suffering. She also had a cut on her lip.”

He and Teri took the six-month-old cat to a local veterinary clinic, where she was stabilized for the night. They named her Baby “because she looked like a helpless baby,” says Joe.

The next day, Joe and Teri brought Baby to the ASPCA, where, in 2013, they adopted their cat, Mousy. There, they learned Baby’s injuries were more extensive than they’d originally thought, including a broken jaw and fractured teeth, as well as an infected uterus—a disorder called pyometra.

At the ASPCA Animal Hospital, Dr. Janice Fenichel wired Baby’s jaw to stabilize it, and spayed her. After four weeks, veterinarians will remove the wire, as well as two of Baby’s teeth. Moved by Baby’s plight and resilience, Joe and Teri adopted her on December 24.

Joe says he has no idea how Baby suffered her injuries, but knows things could have been much worse.

“Cats who crawl under the hoods of cars often suffer horrible injuries by getting caught in fan belts or other car parts,” says Dr. Amy Fox, the ASPCA veterinarian who supervised Baby’s care. “Before starting their cars, drivers should knock on or check under the hood and kick the tires to alert hiding cats, especially in cold weather and for cars parked outdoors.”  

For Joe and Teri, what started as an errand turned into a mission to save a life. Christmas came early this year for this new trio—and no gift could be greater.

Inspired to bring home a pet of your own? Please visit our Adopt section to find available animals near you.

ASPCA Animal Care Technician Mariah Bullock with Joe and Baby.