A Kitten’s Journey

We’ve been traveling again, so I don’t have a new painting to post this week. However, we had an amazing adventure while in Arkansas and Tennessee visiting our daughter and our parents, and that’s what this post is about.

After a quick visit with Tom’s family in Dyer, TN, we loaded up Emily’s Prius and set off to visit my parents, who live about four hours away, in Stuttgart, AR.  We had already made one stop for gas along Interstate 55, somewhere in northeast Arkansas, and then stopped at the Subway in Brinkley, Arkansas, for lunch.  While we were eating, I glanced out the window and noticed that a car had pulled up next to ours and the driver and passenger were intently examining our car.  I commented that no one had been so interested in our Prius in years, and I wondered whether something was wrong with the car–a flat, perhaps?  As we left Subway and neared the car, it quickly became apparent why they’d been so interested in our car.  Something under the car was meowing. Loudly.  Anxiously.

We peered under the car and saw a tiny, fluffy yellow tail hanging down from a ledge (maybe the engine splash shield?) between the two front tires. Tom, with the longest arms of the three of us, laid down on the ground and tried to reach the kitten.  He could touch it, but couldn’t grab it to pull it out. We sent Emily into Subway to buy the kitten a tuna sandwich…the kitten wasn’t interested.  We unloaded the trunk, got out the jack, and jacked up one side of the car, hoping that a little more clearance would enable Tom to capture the kitten. The kitten proceeded to scoot all the way to the other side of the car.  We took the jack off, and tried the same thing from the other side.  The kitten finally jumped down and ran to hide behind one of the tires–which I was crouching behind.  I grabbed her; she grabbed me (I have the claw marks to prove it!).

The kitten was fine.  Not a scratch on her.  A bit grimy and scared, but who wouldn’t be after 199 miles and three hours of clinging to the bottom of a car seven inches above the interstate at 70 miles per hour? A phone call to Tom’s parents confirmed that yes, Fluffy was missing.  (They have a clowder of barn cats, which at the time included one small yellow kitten, about six or seven weeks old.) Fluffy had been observed eating solid food, and seemed old enough to be weened, so we continued on to Stuttgart.

This kitten survived a 199 mile trip clinging to the underside of a Prius!

This kitten survived a 199 mile trip clinging to the underside of a Prius!

The kitten has been adopted by my parents and will probably end up with a new name.  We’re voting for Brinkley, since she was on the brink of disaster and was rescued in Brinkley.  Other suggestions are Stow, Hitch, Miracle, and (Un)Easy Rider.

All’s well that ends well, but how many lives do you suppose she has left?

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