Since this thread is already started I just have to tell you my cat's story. Don't worry it's a 9 lives story.
My Mum started the car and black fur shot out through the cracks between the hood and the car. We found Twitchie huddled under our oil tank, around the side of the house. There was no blood in the snow. I thought, if she has internal injuries and I drag her out I might make them worse. On the other hand I can't leave her there.
Out she came and was examined thoroughly. One hind leg had fur missing in a strip from toe to stifle but the leg worked properly and there was no other sign of damage. Today I would haved rushed her to the VEt for a checkup but back then people didn't do such things, I was a child, and she was FINE. No lasting effects at all. A miracle, she truly did use up one of her 9 lives.
The car was not fine. Mum couldn't steer. The cat's leg had knocked the power steering belt right off. Have you ever tried to put a power steering belt on a car? It is HARD. A big burly mechanic had to use a lever to get it back on. Yet the cat's leg, which took the belt off, was only missing some hair. WHEW.
Hope I haven't hijacked.
I would not count on the above good luck story ever happening again and we pound on our cars regularly now.