Engine purring: Kitten rescued from inside car after disappearing into exhaust pipe

·2 min read
Fergie the kitten was hidden in the engine space of a car at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall - Martyn Collick/Cats Protection
Fergie the kitten was hidden in the engine space of a car at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall - Martyn Collick/Cats Protection

This is the sight that met a helicopter engineer who was forced to dismantled a car to rescue an injured eight-week-old kitten after he saw it disappear into the car's exhaust pipe.

Adam Hughes, a Leonardo Helicopters engineer, was on his way home from work at the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, in Cornwall, when he came across a kitten on the airfield.

Mr Hughes, who had lost his family pet cat the day before, noticed the tiny stray was limping with a broken leg.

However, as Mr Hughes and two junior aircrew approached the small grey-brown tabby, it jumped onto the exhaust pipe of a nearby Volkswagen Golf and ran into the car's engine chamber.

The car's owner, who was in a nearby hangar, gave Mr Hughes permission to dismantle the car and a passing lorry driver offered his tools to help.

Royal Navy personnel tried to locate Fergie the kitten hidden in the engine space of a car at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall - Martyn Collick/Cats Protection
Royal Navy personnel tried to locate Fergie the kitten hidden in the engine space of a car at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall - Martyn Collick/Cats Protection

"I was going home to comfort my family because we had lost our own cat Orlando to renal failure the day before," Mr Hughes said.

"He had been a much-loved part of the family and really helped my daughter's mental health during lockdown.

"There was no way I was going to leave a potentially injured kitten behind."

The kitten was then rushed to the vets for emergency surgery to amputate her leg and is now recovering well
The kitten was then rushed to the vets for emergency surgery to amputate her leg and is now recovering well

After removing the turbo charger and pipework, then jacking-up the car to remove the base panels, the kitten was discovered inside a tiny hole between the wheel arch and liner.

Mr Hughes said: "Luckily it was an older car so we could peel the liner back and when we did one of the aircrew was able to reach in to get hold of the kitten's tail and unharmed back leg.

"Very gently, but with much squealing from the kitten, we were able to get her out."

The kitten was then rushed to the vets for emergency surgery to amputate her leg and is now recovering well at Cats protection.

The adoption team have named the kitten Fergie, in a nod to the airbase where she was found and inspired by the Budgie The Little Helicopter books written by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.