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Kitten hitches ride underneath Florida deputy's car, rescued from rear axle

kitten stuck in rear axle of Florida Keys deputy's car
Posted at 7:54 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 19:56:49-04

MARATHON, Fla. (WPTV) -- Some Florida Keys deputies saved a kitten Monday after they found the feline hitching a ride under one of their patrol cars.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office deputies were called to mile marker 47 along the Seven Mile Bridge just after 9 a.m. Monday after receiving reports that a kitten was running close to traffic.

Deputy Jonathan Rodriguez arrived to find a dead cat -- presumably the kitten's mother -- in the roadway at the base of the bridge.

Rodriguez spotted the kitten run toward his patrol car and safely escape the bridge, or so he thought. After unsuccessfully searching for the kitten, Rodriguez left. Hours later, however, as Rodriguez was getting ready to end his shift, Sgt. Joel Slough heard a cat meowing from under Rodriguez's car.

It turned out the kitten was sitting on the car's rear axle.

tire removed from rear of Florida Keys deputy's patrol car where kitten was hiding
The rear tires were removed from the deputy's patrol car in an effort to help rescue the scared kitten sitting on the axle.

Cat food was used in an attempt to coax the scared kitten out of the car, but that didn't work. Then both rear tires were removed, but the kitten kept retreating to a small void between the rear axle and fuel tank.

Eventually, an animal control officer was able to safely rescue the kitten. Nicknamed "Pawcifer Lucky," the kitten was taken to the Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Marathon to recover.

This story originally reported by Peter Burke on WPTV.com.