Cat is rescued after 10 mile ride stuck in car bumper

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Allison Smith and Lulu

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A cat who went for a ride after climbing up under a car was lucky to be rescued and then doubly lucky to be reunited with her petmom.

A 5-year-old cat was back home safe last Wednesday after an approximately eight-mile ride underneath a car from Rancho Bernardo, California to Scripps Ranch.

A couple had just parked their car in the Sharp Rees-Stealy parking lot Tuesday afternoon when they heard meowing from under the vehicle.

San Diego County Animal Services was called and sure enough, there was a ball of fur wedged inside the bumper. Animal Control Officer Jennifer Jordan feared the worst but when her partner, Animal Control Officer-in-training Roderic Egins went underneath the car, he was able to pry the cat loose and she appeared to be OK.

Medical staff said other than being greasy and dirty, the cat was in fine shape. She was obviously a pet, because she had a sparkly pink collar and seemed to be well cared for. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a tag or a microchip so staff didn’t know how to reach her owner.

Meantime, in Rancho Bernardo, 22-year-old Allison Smith learned her cat had slipped out the door of her family’s condo that morning and disappeared. Smith searched for hours for Lulu with no luck. Darkness fell and she asked one last family near her building whether they’d seen a cat. Bingo, they said yes, a fluffy one with a pink collar had been found hanging on for dear life underneath their car after they had driven to Scripps Ranch.

“I was absolutely shocked when they said they had found her,” said Smith.

Relieved, Smith picked up Lulu, now complete with microchip, from the animal shelter on Gaines Street Wednesday afternoon. Allison gave her filthy feline a very long bath and restored her fur to its original white and tan color. At last report, Lulu was eating heartily and playing with her cat toys.

Smith says she adopted Lulu last year after finding her sitting under her car.

“She walked into my life. I am allergic to cats too and I haven’t had any allergies to her,” Smith said. “I am going to get her a little name tag too.”

“Cats commonly seek warmth from car engines in colder climates but it does happen on occasion here in San Diego County,” said Animal Services Director Dawn Danielson. “We suggest people knock on their car hoods before starting the engine. The noise usually will make the cat jump out.”

Animal Services also recommends that all dogs and cats be microchipped just in case they slip away so they can be reunited with their owners. The County’s three animal shelters offers microchipping from 1 to 3 p.m. every Thursday. The cost is only $10 and includes national registration.

A 30 second video shows Lulu being broght out from inside the car:

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Lulu at the shelter
Lulu at the shelter
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Lulu, after being removed from the car following a 10 mile ride

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