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South Oxhey woman's shock after finding 'miracle-cat' in car engine
When a charity shop manager from South Oxhey noticed her car’s engine was purring more than usual, the last thing she expected to find was a feline stowaway tucked under the bonnet.
During her four mile drive to work Linda Leaver and her husband heard the unusual sound of a cat meowing under the engine of their car.
They had left their South Oxhey home on Friday morning to drive four miles to the Watford New Hope Trust shop in Queens Road.
Mrs Leaver said: "We were driving along and chatting, and just as we passed the theatre we stopped at the traffic lights.
"I said ‘I can hear a cat, how can I hear a cat?’ and we carried on driving.
"We then stopped outside the shop and I could still hear the cat. I thought it was in the boot so my husband opened it and there was nothing there.
"He said ‘it wouldn’t be in the engine would it?’"
Mrs Leaver looked under the bonnet and was greeted with the unexpected sight of a cat’s face nestled among the various parts of the engine.
The black and white kitten had crawled into a small space in the cramped engine, and had managed to cling on by a whisker while the car was being driven.
Mrs Leaver said: "The cat was sitting on the chassis underneath the engine. All I could see was this little black and white face.
"I reached down into the engine, up to my elbow, and grabbed hold of the cat. It was just a quivering mess, as was I."
Mrs Leaver is currently standing in for the manager of the shop, Polly Odbert, who is recovering from a broken knee.
The staff in the shop looked after the cat while Mrs Leaver went out and got supplies. At the end of the day she took the cat, who she has named "Hope", back to her home.
Mrs Leaver said: "We’ve put posters up in the street saying we’d found a cat, but nobody has come forward yet.
She said: "Hope must have been very clever to be able to balance where she was, there would have been a lot of wind from underneath the car. She must have been absolutely terrified.
"She’s a little miracle-cat."
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