MALAYSIA-NEWS AND COMMENT: It is not uncommon for an individual cat to seek shelter and warmth in the engine compartment (‘bay’) of a vehicle especially during cold weather and at night. But this is the first time that I have bumped into a story about a mother cat making the engine bay of a vehicle a den for herself and her two kittens. It must have been quite a tight squeeze.
It happened in a town or city called Alor Gajah, Malacca in Malaysia which is about a hundred kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur and several hundred kilometres north of Singapore on the West Coast.
A kind man had jumped into his car and started it when he saw an adult cat run out from under the vehicle. He also heard faint meowing from the engine. He opened the hood (bonnet) but could barely see the kittens as they were quite quiet and very hard to find and see. It was difficult to catch them as they were in an inaccessible spot.
He used a broom handle to gently encourage them to go into a more central position where he was able to grab them by the scruff of their necks and pull them out.
Sensibly, he put them down on the porch of his home in the expectation that the mother, who was nearby, would eventually come to collect them and take them away to a fresh den. This is what happened.
He said: ‘I knew the mother cat would get the two little babies, so I just put them on the porch floor and after few minutes the mother cat gets her baby one by one to somewhere which is safer.’
Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.
An interesting twist to the story is that when I went in search of information about cats in the engine bay of cars my search threw up, as the top search result, BBC Top Gear Philippines. So clearly in that part of the world stray cats not infrequently end up in the engine compartments of vehicles where they are often killed or badly injured. If only cats realised that vehicles are very dangerous in many ways.
In the Philippines, and I’ll presume Malaysia, cats tend to do this more often during the rainy season when it’s colder. I suppose coldness is dependent upon where you live. The website says that citizens consider it chilly when the temperature is 27°C! That’s my interpretation. This would be warm, if not hot, for UK citizens. I guess the stray cats become acclimatised to very warm weather and if they get wet at night and the temperature drops to the low 20s centigrade, they might consider the engine compartment to be a warm and protected spot.
I think that this is the first time that I have read about a mother cat making an engine compartment their den.
SOME MORE ON CATS AND ENGINES: