Published: 00:01, 15 October 2017
A cat used up one of its nine lives after surviving a trip up Blue Bell Hill trapped under the bonnet of a van.
The moggy, thought to be about eight months old, was discovered when the driver of the van returned home from a day of work in Maidstone and heard meowing coming from the front of the vehicle.
The cat, nicknamed Ford, was freed from the engine before following the driver into his home. He was then rescued by Animals Lost and Found in Kent.
Natasha McPhee, the foundation’s director, is hopeful of tracking down Ford’s owner – if not, he will be found a new home.
She said: “The driver had gone from Chatham to work in Maidstone and drove back to Chatham at the end of the day.
“He heard meowing coming from his van and he didn’t know if the cat had got into the engine in Chatham or in Maidstone.
“He opened it up and saw this cat covered in oil and he let it out. It wouldn’t leave him alone so he let it into his house but he couldn’t look after it because he had to be up for work the next day.
“His face was nice and clean but the white bits on his paws were really dirty and he smelled of engine oil. “
“His face was nice and clean but the white bits on his paws were really dirty and he smelled of engine oil" - Natasha McFee
Natasha picked up Ford from Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, on Thursday, and has been caring for him since.
She said: “We noticed the cat wasn’t chipped or neutered, he wasn’t wearing a collar and he had fleas on him and we had to take him to the vet for a check.
“We haven’t heard from his owner. We have had a couple of people come forward saying he might be their cat but the markings described were different.
“If he was chipped we could have got him home within an hour. It is made exceptionally hard when a cat doesn’t have a microchip.”