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Kitten rides 85 miles on top of engine

March 23, 2012 at 4:56 PM

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., March 23 (UPI) -- Animal control officers in California said an 8-month-old kitten is lucky to be alive after riding 85 miles atop a van's engine.

Santa Cruz County animal control officers said the motorist told them the kitten apparently climbed under his hood in Mill Valley and remained atop the engine until he heard it mewing for help at a Santa Cruz gas station, about 85 miles from where his drive began Wednesday morning, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.

Melanie Sobel, general manager of the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, said the female kitten was wearing a studded leather collar and a blue bell. She said the feline was lucky to be uninjured.

"It is actually quite common for cats to climb into engines like this," she said. "This (one) is really lucky. Many cats die or get severely burned."

Sobel said there was no identifying information on the collar and officers are hoping the owner will come forward.

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