A CAT-ASTROPHE has been avoided after a kitten was rescued from a tight spot.

The cat named ‘Axel’ was stuck in the suspension of a Land Rover in George Street, Ferryhill Station.

It was discovered after the owner of the car tried change the suspension.

The Northern Echo:

Upon starting the car on-lookers heard a scream coming from the stowaway hidden in the under-belly of the vehicle.

Before any harm could come to the kitten, residents sprang to the rescue.

Vivian Fawcett who was at the scene said: “A black coloured Range Rover was parked up, the owner said he had started up his vehicle when he heard a lot of screaming and crying.

"It was a kitten stuck somewhere under the vehicle.

“He was helped by a neighbour to get it out but they could not manage.

"He contacted the AA to help get him out.”

The Northern Echo:

Stephen Borlace from the AA, volunteered to go underneath to him out, he said: “I’ve never had to rescue a cat myself before, but when I saw a tiny pair of eyes, he melted my heart.

“He did not want to come out he was very scared.

"We tried to entice it out with some KFC but he wouldn’t budge.”

Residents quickly helped by providing a box and a blanket for the frightened kitten.

It is not known where the kitten has come from but there have been growing numbers of feral street cats in the area.

Axel is believed to be about four to six weeks old.

Mr Borlace added: “The wife loves him, but cats choose their owners and he has adopted our son who he follows everywhere.

“We already have three cats, the last time we had a kitten in the house was about 13 years ago.

"They are getting used to him being around, but it will take time we have to keep him separate until he is old enough to have his anti-flea put on.

“He’s full of energy, he loves running around like a lunatic, then he will sleep for the rest of the day, only to wake us up in the early hours.

“The last one we had arrived having jumped out the back of a van, he loved to jump into our car.

"We put missing posters up but no one came forward so we adopted it.”

The Northern Echo:

An AA spokesperson said: “During the colder months, animals – wild or not - can be drawn to warm engine bays for shelter.

"Although it doesn’t happen often, it’s not unheard of for our patrols to rescue small animals from within cars and over time they’ve saved all sorts – cats, fox cubs, a pet hamster and even a snake.

“It’s also worth remembering that rodents have been known to nest in engine bays. They can cause quite a lot of damage gnawing through pipe work and chewing wires, or storing their winter food for hibernation.

"If you’re not using your car during lockdown, check for any signs of stowaways before driving.”