One life down, eight to go
This time, curiosity didn't kill the cat.
On Wednesday, an Embro couple's kitten went on the ride of his young life.
Four-month-old Molson had adapted well to his new family, the Jasinskis, and even got along with the family's two dogs.
But over the past few weeks, Molson developed a habit of running outside when the dogs went out.
"Usually we just call his name and he comes running back in the house, but not yesterday," Betsy Jasinski said.
For hours, Jasinski searched the outside of her home just outside Embro. She called Molson's name. She looked under bushes and up into the trees. She left no stone unturned.
And when she still couldn't find him, she started calling people who had been at her home that morning.
"We'd had a lot of car traffic that morning. I felt like a complete idiot when I asked people to go check their back seats for our cat," she said.
She even called her husband, Chris Jasinski, who had left that morning for a meeting at his sister's in Woodstock.
He'd been in the meeting for about 90 minutes when he received the call. He checked the backseat and found nothing. Then he and his sister headed to Toronto and Brampton for business.
It wasn't until the brother-sister duo finished both meetings and was about to head back to Woodstock that a tiny meow could be heard coming from under the hood of the Honda SUV.
"He crawled from the ground up into the engine compartment. He could have come out of the compartment in Woodstock. He could have come out while they went through the Tim Hortons drive-thru or while whizzing along on the highway. But he didn't. He hung on for dear life in there," Betsy Jasinski said.
Miraculously, Molson emerged from the engine compartment still intact and, for the most part, unscathed.
"Molson was a little bit rattled at first, but after that, he hasn't missed a beat. He's playing with the dogs just like normal," she said.
Liz Dennis, a veterinarian from the Wellington Animal Hospital, said it's common for animals to find their way into cars during colder months.
"I'm not sure if it was the case in this instance, but small animals will go in there because of the warmth. It's a warm cosy place for them to sleep.
"This story ended nicely, but there are sad stories about engines being started up and the animal receiving bad burns or worse," she said.
Dennis was amazed to hear about the distance Molson travelled while under the hood.
"I've never heard of one travelling so far or stopping that much. It's another good reason for micro-chipping your pets. At any time, the kitten could have gotten out and there would have been no reason for the owner to look in Toronto for the animal."
Dennis suggested while walking to your vehicle smack the hood with your hand or honk the horn the before starting the engine. The noise should scare any animal that has tucked themselves under the hood looking for a warm spot.
Duke - Shepherd/Collie 2003-2013
Jasper - Shepherd/Collie 2005-2013
Zoey - Brown Tabby
Patches - Diluted Torti