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Monrovia Car Wash Assistant Manager Rescues Kitten from Customer’s Engine

Hopefully, Nugget has learned not to crawl into engines. – Courtesy photo

By Terry Miller

Everyone knows cats absolutely abhor water, but recently a little kitten, who just happened to be going home from a trip to the vet, suddenly decided that shots at the veterinarian along with mom taking the car to a car wash was all too much for a kitten to take – thus truly adding insult to injury.

During what should have been a routine visit to the local drive-through car wash on the way home from getting a round of vaccinations for the family’s beloved kitten, Veronica Hahni’s son Brendan, 13, reached into Nugget’s carrier “to soothe her and keep her calm.”

Suddenly, while searching for any means of escape, Nugget managed to squirm right out of that carrier and found her way into an opening behind the gas pedal, “disappearing in two seconds flat,” according to Veronica Hahni.

Completely beside himself, Brendan kept shouting that the kitten was “inside the car” which didn’t concern Mom Veronica terribly since they weren’t planning to open any doors or windows until they got home.

Brendan and Nugget at home. – Courtesy photo

Increasingly panicked, her son convinced her that the kitten was, in fact, somehow inside the engine compartment and not the cab. Not knowing where she was in the undercarriage, Hahni wouldn’t drive another inch, much to the contempt of the drivers in line behind her.

With an attendant’s help, the distraught family eventually rolled the car forward but still no sign of Nugget anywhere. The attendant, understandably, was quite sure she had dropped through the undercarriage and perhaps ran away into the bushes.

As any cat lover will tell you, that seems logical but when cats are frightened they tend to hide in the nearest safe and warm space which in this particular case was an engine.

Refusing to drive any further for risk of harming the young female feline the assistant manager of Fast5Xpress, Cameron Harrington, who was “the super hero albeit missing his cape but indeed with his superpowers intact,” believed Brendan when he said he thought he could see a tiny tuft of hair behind the gas pedal.

Cameron Harrington, 28-year-old assistant manager at Monrovia’s Fast5Xpress Car Wash (935 E. Huntington), says he’s seen some crazy stuff at the car wash, but this takes the cake. – Courtesy photo

It’s important to note here that Harrington, who just happens to be allergic to cats, donned a pair of gloves and boldly went in for the rescue by the firewall. Harrington climbed in there and worked and worked to pry off the plastic molding under the steering wheel. It seemed fruitless but Harrington calmly and quietly continued to pry at that molding until out came two tiny paws.

“I jumped in and we wrangled the rest of her out of there, almost none-the-worse-for-wear. Four months old and already down two of her nine lives: one for spending her earliest days with the black widows in our woodpile [and] one for her auto escapades. We may need new naming options at this point,” Veronica Hahni quipped.

“Thankfully not every Saturday ends with me crying at the car wash and hugging the manager,” Hahni told Monrovia Weekly on Tuesday.

As a paw note (if you’ll pardon the pun), it is only fitting that this cat’s veterinarian is Dr. Demotor.

December 20, 2018

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Terry Miller


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