Deputy Ryan Abbott was on break at a Florida courthouse when he heard some surprising words — “my car is meowing.”
The deputy at the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office in Wauchula, Florida, told McClatchy News he and his partner had to go check out that odd statement made by an employee at the clerk’s office on Sept. 18.
When the deputies got to the car, they heard a meowing sound, too, Abbott said. So they popped the hood to take a look.
“We looked down into the engine block, and there was just two bright blue eyes,” Abbott said.
The kitten was hiding underneath the engine, perched on the frame over the front axle, according to Abbott. He said they figured it had tagged along for the 15-mile ride from the clerk employee’s home to the courthouse.
He and his partner took off their gun belts and crawled under the car, he said. They reached through the engine block, and after a bit of work, they pulled the kitten out from the tire well.
Abbott said his wife had been planning to drop off a cup of coffee to him, and she ended up bringing along their 9-year-old daughter. When they got to the courthouse, there was a kitten.
“I exchanged a kitten for a cup of coffee,” Abbott said.
He said his daughter begged for them to keep the cat. His daughter and wife were sold immediately.
“I have two boys, but she’s the princess. And she said, ‘Daddy, can I please keep it?’” Abbott said. “Long story short, the cat now lives at my house.”
Abbott’s family went straight to Walmart from the courthouse and bought supplies for the cat. They took her to the vet and found out she was 6 to 8 weeks old. They decided to name her Charli.
“Phonetically in the military phonetic alphabet, C is Charlie, and that’s the courthouse,” he said.
His daughter won’t let the cat out of sight, Abbott said. She even bought a baby hammock carrier for it.
The Hardee County Sheriff’s Office shared the rescue story in a Facebook post. Abbott said that he’s getting more attention for this story than he did for winning a life-saving award for administering CPR.
“It’s a hilarious story that all the guys are giving me grief about,” he said.
Wauchula is about 70 miles southeast of Tampa.