ARL Caring for Stowaway Kitten

Coffee” Found Under Hood of SUV During Washington D.C. to Boston Trip

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is caring for a two-month-old stray kitten that is lucky to be alive after stowing away under the hood of an SUV while a couple drove from Washington D.C. to Boston.

While stopping at a Starbucks in Arlington, Virginia, Michael Waters and Aiesha Dey noticed the black kitten scurrying down the sidewalk, then underneath their SUV. After checking all around the vehicle for signs of the kitten, they thought he had moved on, and continued on their way.

Nearly 250 miles later on the outskirts of New York City, the couple heard meowing. Alarmed, they pulled over, and when they popped the hood, the kitten was found nestled between the grill and the radiator.

“It was amazing, the kitten was in front of the radiator,” Waters said. “It was scared and it took 15-20 minutes for me to pull him out, but he was friendly. He must have found the perfect spot too, because it wasn’t hot where he was and I didn’t get burned when I reached in to grab him. Once we got him in the car we settled him down and tried to give him some milk and then continued on to Boston.”

Because he was first seen outside of a Starbucks, the couple thought “Coffee” was a fitting name. How did Coffee manage to get under the hood? The SUV has a uni-body construction, so it’s likely that Coffee got into the engine compartment through the wheel-well, and thankfully was able to find a relatively safe place to stowaway.

Coffee thumb

Coffee relaxing at ARL.

Upon arriving in Boston, Waters and Dey brought the kitten to ARL for treatment and rehabilitation. Coffee was placed into foster care following his initial exam, and the couple have since returned to Washington D.C.

Stress-Related Issues

In addition to being thin and having fleas, Coffee developed some other problems in the aftermath of his journey. Coffee is currently dealing with ear and repertory infections, due to the environment and the stress of the trip. There was also some scarring on his paws and underside. For ARL shelter veterinary staff, the circumstances in which Coffee came into ARL’s care was something they “had never seen before.”

Coffee may have spent one of his nine lives, but his rehab continues, and veterinary staff add that in a couple of weeks he should look like a completely different cat and also be ready to find a home.