x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 November 2017

Lucky escape for cat who hid in 4x4’s engine

The young cat, thought to be just five months old, climbed up into the car’s engine from underneath but was woken with a shock as the owner started up the vehicle.

Bob is on the mend after surviving a bout with a car engine fan belt. The cat’s rescuers are now looking for a good home to adopt him. Delores Johnson / The National
Bob is on the mend after surviving a bout with a car engine fan belt. The cat’s rescuers are now looking for a good home to adopt him. Delores Johnson / The National

DUBAI // A street cat had a lucky escape after taking refuge from chilly overnight weather under the bonnet of a Toyota Land Cruiser.

The feline, thought to be five months old, climbed up into the engine from below but was woken with a shock when the owner started the vehicle.

Suffering a broken leg after being caught in the fan belt, the stray, who has since been named Bob, managed to limp to the roadside in Umm Suqeim where he was taken in by neighbours.

Lucky for Bob, a vet was staying nearby and stepped in to help.

Dr Martin Wyness, from the British Veterinary Centre (BVC) in Khalidya, Abu Dhabi, had just taken part in an off-road driving course with the vehicle’s owner.

“We had just had a barbecue and one of my friends went out to start his car,” he said.

“I heard this screech and a whack noise so we knew something was wrong. There were bits of fan broken on the ground. I realised something had got stuck in the engine.

“The cat was pretty shaken up, but had managed to get across the road and was hiding under another car. I couldn’t just leave him there, it was a fluke I was on the spot.

“He had a fractured humerus and needed an operation. We have a fantastic orthopaedic team so I took him in for surgery in Abu Dhabi.”

Dr Wyness used a three-dimensional imaging machine to assess the cat’s injuries that confirmed its leg was broken and required surgery to add a metal plate to help the bone recover.

Bob is now resting at the BVC’s boarding house while they try to find him a home.

Jennifer Hale is the administrative head at the BVC practice. Her husband, Jonathan, carried out the surgery.

“While a fracture like this is strange, these incidents are not that unusual, particularly when it starts to get a bit colder at night and cats try to find somewhere warm to shelter,” she said.

“A couple of years ago, a couple drove to Dubai from Abu Dhabi with a cat stuck under the bonnet. It survived but was badly burned. Bob was ‘lucky’ to be injured in front of a vet who knew what to do.”

To enquire about adopting Bob, call 02 6650 085.

nwebster@thenational.ae