It's rare that getting a flat tire can be considered a blessing in disguise, but that was exactly the case for a kitten who was found under the hood of a car in Birmingham, Alabama.
When a family traveling from Atlanta, Georgia, hit a pothole, it caused their car to get a flat, which prompted them to call the Jefferson County police in Birmingham for assistance. Once help arrived, Sheriff Deputy Tim Sanford noticed a faint cry coming from the vehicle's engine compartment.
After opening the hood of the car, Deputy Sanford discovered a tiny kitten stuck inside. The small feline was likely trapped in there for 130 miles.
Sanford (pictured above with the lucky feline he rescued) named the kitten, fittingly, Atlanta, and then called the Animal Care and Control (ACC) division of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society for further help in rehabilitating her.
Despite some burns from the engine (which are already healing), Atlanta is in good shape. According to the GBHS, Atlanta will be held for a state-mandated stray hold period and then taken to Alabama Shelter Veterinarians to be spayed, vaccinated, dewormed, microchipped, and given a full medical evaluation. She'll then be placed for adoption.
Holly Baker, the director of ACC, tells petMD that the inspiring Atlanta is "thriving" health-wise and has a "spunky personality" to boot. While Atlanta may be the poster kitty for resilience, she's also a reminder, particularly during the busy summer travel season, to always be aware of animals when you are traveling.
"It is more common to see cats inside of cars in the winter, but not unusual for any time of year," Baker says. "If you see an animal in distress, please call local law enforcement and alert them to the situation. They will alert the proper animal control authorities."
Baker also reminds pet lovers that as temperatures rise, it's especially important to be mindful of animals and cars.
"Do NOT leave animals in a hot car," she says. "If outside, ensure you have plenty of fresh water for your pets and find shade if they become overheated. If it’s too hot for you, it is definitely too hot for them!"
Image via Greater Birmingham Humane Society