Stowaway kitten travels 55 miles in van engine from Merseyside to Staffordshire

A stowaway kitten proved he could get here, there and everywhere after climbing into the engine of a transit van which had travelled from Liverpool to Newcastle-under-Lyme.

The kitten, who has been named Ringo after The Beatles drummer, weighed just 0.6 kilogrammes and is thought to have climbed into the engine when the van left the Aigburth area of Liverpool yesterday morning (Monday). 

The unexpected passenger was eventually discovered after telecoms engineer Dwayne Ofoeme and his two work colleagues stopped at Cambridge Drive in Newcastle-under-Lyme and heard meowing coming from the engine.          

Dwayne tried unsuccessfully to catch Ringo, who kept darting between the chassis and the undercarriage. Not wanting to set off again with him still inside the engine, they called the RSPCA for help.  

RSPCA inspector Jackie Hickman attended the incident and after more than an hour, finally managed to catch the kitten after putting her hand inside from the top of the engine and coaxing him towards her with a packet of cat food.

Dwayne said: “We’d travelled down the M62 and the M6 and we’d got out in Cambridge Drive to start work. 

“We immediately heard meowing and thought it was just a cat under the van. I then got underneath to see exactly where the noise was coming from and spotted a kitten, I couldn’t believe it. 

“He was really scared and I tried for a long time to try and reach him but he just wouldn’t come out, so we decided to call the RSPCA. He was such a character and we’re so pleased he’s ok.”      

Jackie said: “Despite his diminutive size, Ringo was an extremely vocal little guy. His little paws were oily and he was extremely hungry, but otherwise in good health. How he’s managed to cling to the undercarriage of the van for so long, I will never know. 

“The men were absolutely fantastic; they were extremely concerned for his welfare and did their very best to catch him, but unfortunately Ringo had other ideas. 

“He was seen by a vet and was very happy to have a little cuddle, so he’s definitely not a feral kitten and used to human company. He’s very young to be away from his mum and we thought it was unlikely he would be microchipped at this age, although we always check just in case. If someone recognises Ringo and thinks he might be their missing pet, we would ask them to contact us.”         

Ringo is now in RSPCA care and will be vaccinated and microchipped in the coming weeks and then rehomed by the charity if his owner does not come forward.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit their website or call their donation line on 0300 123 8181.

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