I’m 100% certain that when you rent a moving truck, there is no check box to confirm stowaway’s aren’t found. The engine compartment, dashboard and wheel wells offer cozy holes for critters. But with the spacious size and multiple hiding locations offered for curious felines, perhaps that check box is needed? Because when a Pennsylvania man made a 20-hour round trip drive in a U-Haul, he got more than he bargained for.
A young kitten had joined him on his journey, buried deep within the moving truck!
It was Stephen Lang of Middleburg, PA who had rented the vehicle for a trip to Indiana. As he, his finacee Micaela Silva and their newborn daughter Aspen readied for his trip, they made a stop at a local store. It was here that they began hearing distressed meowing sounds coming from nearby. And because the family foster for a shelter and Micaela is a vet tech, they refused to leave without finding the animal.
Finally, they spotted a young female tabby kitten hiding deep with a wheel well of their own moving truck! She was tucked under the spare tire attached beneath the vehicle, just out of reach.
As a thunderstorm began to rage overhead, they stopped at nothing to rescue the kitten.
It was 3 hours before they pulled the cat to safety! But they were only successful at first.
Until the little girl bolted from their grip and hid behind a propane tank at the location! Not willing to give up now, Stephen was happily able to catch the kitten a second time. He quickly climbed into the moving truck where the kitten would be more contained.
That is until the wily kitten climbed up into the dashboard of the truck, disappearing within.
“She was biting me and getting wiggly,” Lang said, as he brought her into the cab of the truck. “She just slipped out from underneath my arm and ran right into the dashboard, like a mouse.”
But the kitten was now in a position that at least wasn’t life threatening; yet. Stephen had a great idea though. Once they arrived home, they put the moving truck into their garage where their family cats may lure the kitten out. At the very least, some yummy food in a truly enclosed but safe space may be enticing. He even tried playing YouTube videos of mama cats meowing to draw her out.
But nothing worked and the kitten remained within the dashboard.
However, they still had to go on their trip! And once the little girl was trapped in her new spot, she was very vocal about her displeasure. Terrified meows were the song of their road trip, breaking their hearts.
“It was 20 hours of driving and about 10 hours of that was just cat noises,” Lang said, laughing. “It was awful.”
The worst part of the trip came when the kitten urinated in the moving truck’s dashboard!
And for the last 5 hours of the trip, the feline infused air “freshener” permeated the air. Lang later told reporters that he was planning on taking serious action to get the trapped soul.
Lang said he was so worried for the kitten, he was considering taking a small saw to the dashboard to rescue it.
The organization that he fosters for came to his rescue though, finding a dedicated crew to help. It was the mechanics at Chevrolet Cadillac of Bloomsburg who were finally able to pull the kitten from the truck.
Nate Culver had begun dismantling the dashboard, piece-by-piece, until they spotted the stowaway. And he finally noticed fur buried within the wires behind the gauges of the moving truck.
Under the watchful eyes of the entire dealership who had joined the rescue mission, he extracted the scared kitten. I’m sure the joy and relief was felt from everyone involved.
The overjoyed Lang made a vet appointment right away as the kitten was clearly dehydrated after the long trip.
The best part? Lang is willing to adopt the kitten officially!
Although she is unnamed so far, the dealership crew are rooting for “Dash”. For now, she is resting peacefully under the watchful eye of Stephen and Micaela at their foster home.
“They’ll also be responsible for the bill at the dealership, though Lang said they’d offered him a substantial discount on the work.”