Cat survives road trip under car bonnet

By David Wilson

Image source, Majella McBride
Image caption, Nova escaped her trans Donegal road trip uninjured and unscathed

A cat that crawled under the bonnet of her owner's car has survived a 30-mile (50-km) road trip across County Donegal.

Five-month-old Nova was discovered by mechanics when her owner dropped the car off at a garage in Letterkenny - an hour's drive from its home in Annagry.

Owner Majella McBride said despite the ordeal, Nova was uninjured and unscathed.

"One of the nine lives is definitely gone," she said.

"We are all delighted Nova is none the worse for wear," Mrs McBride told BBC News NI.

"She's my daughter's cat and she would have murdered me if I had killed the cat."

Nova, who had been neutered on Monday, was being kept inside the family home as per the instructions of the vet.

"But somehow she was able to get out and I just thought she was hiding up in the shed," said Mrs McBride.

Celebrity status

She said the following day she left home and did some shopping before dropping the car at the garage.

"I said to the mechanics: 'Here's the car, give me a ring when you are finished,' and took myself off for a coffee," said Mrs McBride, who works as a home-help.

"When they rang an asked did I own a cat? Did I own a black cat called Nova? I thought they were winding me up.

"When they had lifted the bonnet, there she was. "

She said Nova was "one lucky black cat".

"I had driven all the way from Annagry, over bumpy country roads, and I even stopped for an hour or so to do some shopping.

"She had her chance to jump out, but never took it.

"The mechanics said they had come across cats under the bonnet before but had never discovered one still alive."

Mrs McBride said Nova has been in great form since returning home - and was enjoying her celebrity status.

Carmel Murray of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said that cats "are great at finding warm spots to sleep, but sometimes these can be dangerous.

"So make sure to check your vehicle for sleeping kitties before you drive off.

"Always check your neighbour's or a feral cat outside is not tucked away under your vehicle by making noise on the bonnet, slam your vehicle door or honk the horn giving any cats or kittens underneath enough time to escape and run away."

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