Stowaway kitten freed from truck’s dashboard
SCOTT TWP. — After two days, 1,000 miles and countless mews, service technicians at a local auto dealership were able to free a tiny kitten trapped inside the dashboard of a U-Haul pickup Tuesday afternoon.
The kitten, which Chevrolet-Cadillac of Bloomsburg workers have named “Dash,” was first discovered when Stephen Lang of Middleburg was driving the U-Haul back to his house Sunday night. Lang had rented the truck in Selinsgrove for a trip to Indiana. He and his fiancée, Micaela, had stopped at the Dollar General to buy baby formula about 8 p.m.
They looked around and discovered the sound was coming from the spare tire, hooked under the frame of the truck.
Lang managed to grasp the kitten, but it wiggled free and crawled up into the frame of the truck.
They spent three hours in the parking lot in the middle of a thunderstorm trying to coax the kitten down, Lang said. Finally, he was able to get hold of it again and pull it free.
It sped off and hid underneath the propane tank cage outside the store before Lang managed to chase the kitten out and grab it again.
“She was biting me and getting wiggly,” Lang said, as he brought her into the cab of the truck. “She just slipped out from underneath my arm and ran right into the dashboard, like a mouse.”
He drove the truck home and brought his own cats into the garage, hoping they would meow and coax the kitten out before he had to leave early the next morning.
But when 3 a.m. came and it still had not emerged, Lang was forced to head out on his trip to Indiana with the kitten in the dashboard.
Getting the kitten out
Lang said he could hear the kitten’s mews, so he played YouTube videos of cat sounds in the hopes it would draw the little creature out.
“It was 20 hours of driving and about 10 hours of that was just cat noises,” Lang said, laughing. “It was awful.”
With about five hours left to go, the kitten urinated, and the last leg of the journey was spent smelling cat pee through the vents, he said.
When he got home Tuesday, he called U-Haul, who suggested he contact an animal control officer. He knew that wasn’t likely to help, so he turned to the Animal Resource Center in Millville for advice.
He’s actually fostering five of ARC’s kittens, he said.
Lang said he was so worried for the kitten, he was considering taking a small saw to the dashboard to rescue it, but ARC employees assured him they’d find help.
That’s when workers at Chevrolet Cadillac of Bloomsburg stepped in, Lang said. He took the truck into the dealership on Central Road and technicians began painstakingly pulling off pieces of the dash in search of the kitten.
Nate Culver spotted a tuft of fur just behind the truck’s gauges, so workers removed enough of the dash to let Culver reach in and grab the kitten.
He had to pull slowly, as the kitten clawed at clusters of wires in the dash, but within moments, it was free.
By then, workers from all the departments in the dealership had come to watch the rescue mission of the kitten they had started calling “Dash.”
The kitten was dehydrated, so Lang and his fiancée planned to take Dash to an animal hospital near their home for a check-up. They’ll also be responsible for the bill at the dealership, though Lang said they’d offered him a substantial discount on the work.
Several of the workers at the dealership said they’d like to adopt Dash once the kitten is released from the animal hospital.
Julye Wemple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 570-387-1234, ext. 1323.