Late Thursday afternoon, a young woman’s white and orange kitten decided to play hide and seek inside the engine block of one of our customer’s vehicles that was parked in front of the building on Main Street. She said she had just gotten the cat from a home where he was abused. Needless to say, the search was on to try to recover the scared critter before the vehicle was cranked over or he got spooked and darted into traffic.
The group, which consisted of Myrtle Edmond, Jim Stephens, Francine Locke Bray, the young woman and myself, decided that it would be best if we placed the SUV in neutral and let it coast down the hill towards (2nd Street????), make the corner and park the vehicle on the side street before extreme attempts were made.
The move was made successful with Jim steering the vehicle and the rest of us following on all sides to make sure the kitten didn’t dart away and us miss it. Passersby began to take notice of the group of individuals nursing the vehicle and slowed as they passed.
With the vehicle in park we decided to try and scare him out by blowing the horn. Nothing. It was on to step two. With the emergency break applied, the cat owner and myself crawled underneath the SUV to try to see if we could located the kitten while Jim and Francine looked above. While this was taking place, two young men pulled up in front of the vehicle and offered to help us. They too crawled under the vehicle and after several minutes determined the cat must have managed to get out without being seen. We thanked them for their help and they left.
Becoming discouraged, the woman who owned the cat thanked us for our help and began to walk away. Before she left we took down her address so, if found, we could return her cat. We also attempted to get a phone number but she said she didn’t have one and left rather quickly. After a few more moments of looking, Jim, Francine and I decided the cat either got out and was gone or was really hiding inside the engine block and we were not going to get him to come out.
Starting the engine no noises were heard and no furry little body came rocketing out. We said our goodbyes and parted.
On Friday morning, Jim came into the newspaper office and said you are not going to believe this, I have something for you.
He then went on to tell me that after making it home, about 8 miles outside of Antlers, they looked again and found nothing. Then this morning, before starting his vehicle, he opened the hood and there was the little orange kitten curled up onto of the motor trying to stay warm.
“I didn’t have anything to put him in, I wasn’t prepared to find him so I put him inside the vehicle and went to find something he could ride in,” said Jim. “When I came back I couldn’t find him inside the vehicle. He had disappeared again.”
Making his way to town, Jim stopped at the location of his new restaurant (the old NAPA building on the corner of High and Main Street) and told his contractors, James and Keith Atwood, what had been going on. James and Keith then began to look through the vehicle as well and low and behold saw a poofy tuff of fur poking out from underneath one of the seats. After about 30 minutes of maneuvering and quick thinking, the Atwood’s had rescued our mystery cat.
Now it was my turn to finish the story with a happy ending, or so I thought. Jim had brought me the kitten and I was prepared to take him home to the woman. Trying to locate the residence I began to have some difficulties so I stopped and picked up a good friend of mine from Van Meters Furniture in Antlers. Michelle and I began to look for the address. When we finally found it, it was to a vacant lot.
Asking around the neighborhood, no one had seen the cat before or knew the female I was talking about. The cat’s owner was no where to be found. But this story does have a happy ending. One of the residents said to leave it at her house and her daughter would take care of the cat. The mystery of the missing cat had been solved.