Rachel Richardson of The Cincinnati Enquirer and MasonBuzz.com reports:
His ear is slightly singed and he needed a good bath, but a stowaway kitten has a new chance at life after being found on board a fuel tanker this week.
Deb Donley, of Mason, was filling her tank at the West Chester Kroger gas station last Tuesday when she heard a plaintive mewing.Donley, an animal rescue volunteer who works mostly with pit bulls, went car-to-car looking for the source of the cries.
“When you hear the cry of any animal, the first thing you do is investigate,” she said. “I’m looking through everybody’s car windows like a fool asking if they hear this cat.”
Donley pinpointed the cries to a fuel tanker refilling the gas tanks. The driver told her he didn’t have a cat, but had heard the faint cries of one all day.
“I got underneath the tanker and climbed up to where it meets the semi and saw this furry head peek out of the hold there. It was screaming,” said Donley. “I climbed up in and grabbed a hold of the poor thing and wedged it out. After that it never left me.”
Donley named the six-month-old tabby kitten — what else? — Tanker.
It’s believed that Tanker survived at least 10 hours clinging to the fuel truck on a ride that took him hundreds of miles across three states, from Kentucky to Indianapolis to West Chester.
“He went for the ride of his life,” said Donley. “He was covered in grease and we couldn’t feed him enough.”
With the help of another Mason animal rescuer, Evelyn Black, the wayward tabby found placement at Friends of Noah, a private, nonprofit animal shelter in Amelia.
Despite his wild ride, Tanker was determined to be healthy and needed only a good scrub-down. He’s now available for adoption, said Bonnie Morrison, the shelter’s director.
“This kitten went on what I call a long haul,” said Morrison, with a laugh. “He’s extremely friendly and mellow and happy to be held. I couldn’t believe his great attitude after being covered in grease and tossed and turned. He’s a happy little guy right now.”
Donley says she only did what any animal-lover would do by coming to the aid of an animal in need.
“Just looking at him and getting hugs from him is the biggest ‘thank you’ in the world,” she said.
For more information on Tanker, call Friends of Noah at 513-797-7387, ext. 112 or visit them on Facebook.
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