It was a foggy Tuesday morning when Kate D’Emic Lynch drove her bright blue Jeep wrangler pulled over to a One Stop Shell at 8202 Seventh Avenue, distracted by a meowing that was coming from the front of the car.
It’s the latest of three memorable animal experiences the Dyker Heights station has had in the last eight months, which, for wildlife warrior and local mechanic Raul Torres, have also included a squirrel and a rat.
Slipping the muddy bi-color kitten between his fingers, Torres volunteered to spend an estimated 45 minutes on Tuesday, April 4 taking apart the part of the car by the windshield where the cat had been hiding before finally being able to reach the then-filthy fur ball, slightly bigger than the size of his palm.
“It’s a girl,” Torres is heard saying in a video. “Congratulations!”
Since seeming lost and confused in the brighter light among the cooing crowd, the cat has been added to Torres’ family and named Jeep, in honor of where she was found in the first place.
“I would call her Chrysler, but then I worry she would get stuck again,” Torres told this paper.
Torres, a previous owner of ferrets and dogs, said Jeep’s first day at home was exciting for the whole family, especially his daughters who have helped feed the kitten from a bottle. The mechanic estimates that the kitten is about a month old and joked that the cat may have been chasing the rat that died stuck inside another vehicle he worked on last month.
Jeep is the second cat to currently reside with Torres, who seized the opportunity when Lynch voiced her concerns about taking the kitten to her home where it would have to coexist with her dog.
Torres has been hailed as a local hero, much to his own surprise, as word spread on Facebook of the rescue via a video posed by Lynch, and another taken by Sammy Mansour.
“It was an adventure of a lifetime,” said Torres, “and I’ve parachuted.”