A baffled motorist driven “round the bend” by a constant ”purring” noise in his engine for a week stripped the vehicle – and found a KITTEN.
Carpenter Chris Bale, 46, thought he was “going mad” when he heard the strangest sounds coming from his Ford van.
Chris endured the strange noise for days before he finally took it to a garage and asked mechanics to investigate.
They began stripping away the interior and as staff shined a torched behind the stereo a kitten’s face came peering out.
The eight-week-old cat had been trapped without water or sunlight and was weak and malnourished.
But Chris, of Bugle, Cornwall, plucked him to safety, rushed him to a vet – and christened him Dash.
Chris said: “I got my two sons to have a look, but they listened for hours and the kitten didn’t make a sound. They thought I was losing the plot.”
He eventually took the van to his local Vospers garage where mechanics spent an hour unscrewing the interior panels before they spotted ‘Dash’ cowering under the stereo.
Technician Paul Washington said: “We couldn’t really see anything, so we shone a torch up into the gap in the dashboard and that’s when we saw the tips of two tiny ears.
“I delved a little bit further and saw its eyes staring back at me. I couldn’t believe it.
Once the kitten saw me he must have moved, and the driver pulled him out.
“He put the kitten in a box and tried to feed him a little bit of water and milk and took him straight to the vet.
“It felt good to be able to help. I’ve heard of rats and mice going up into the engine bay but never an animal inside a vehicle.”
David Hayes, workshop controller, added: “The kitten was barely alive and really weak.
“We’ve seen all sorts but this has to top everything. I’ve never seen anything like this in the five years I’ve worked here.”
Dash is now recovering at Rock View Veterinary Surgery in St Austell, Cornwall.
Spokesman Fiona Rawlings said: “He’s eating, going to the toilet and is a lot better. He’s put on a bit of weight and is looking really well.
“It’s lovely to see. He’s had a traumatic start and when he is ready he will need a special home.”