Tarpon Springs firefighters rescue feisty, furry stowaway

- Firefighters in Tarpon Springs had their hands full -- literally -- with a feisty rescue this morning.

According to District Chief Richard Walsh, a resident heard what sounded like a kitten crying from the engine compartment of her car after noticing a stray kitten in her yard earlier in the morning.  She pulled over to check but didn't see anything, then continued on.

But she heard the sound again as she was sitting in traffic on U.S. 19, so she pulled into Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue Station 69.  Firefighters spent 10 minutes combing through the Hyundai Santa Fe, but didn’t find anything.

The woman drive away, but returned a minute later, insisting she could still hear something.  This time, firefighters did too, so they took a wheel and even part of the wheel liner off the car.   That's when they spotted the kitten inside the fender well.

After removing a few more pieces of the car, crews were able to pull the feisty kitten from its hiding place -- "Like birthing a baby!" the woman chuckled in video shared by Tarpon Springs police. 

They turned the little stowaway -- now nicknamed 'Fender' -- over to the woman.

"Now Fender can ride back INSIDE the car safely to be cleaned up, fed, and watered," Tarpon Springs police wrote on Facebook.  "Way to go Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue."

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