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On a typical Friday, a few weeks back, the staff at our law firm faced an unusual task — rescuing a kitten. Luckily, we managed to ensure the safety and well-being of our adorable little feline friend, whom we affectionately named Houdini.

It all began on Thursday, June 14, 2023, at lunchtime as I was driving along Boynton Beach Road, preparing to merge onto I-95. Suddenly, two tiny kittens appeared in the middle of the road, right in front of my car. Like many other concerned motorists, I immediately stopped, wanting to help them. However, their fear got the better of them, and they scurried away in different directions.

One of the kittens, a grey one, sought refuge beneath my car, while the other, a black kitten, found shelter beneath a car in the other lane. Thankfully, the compassionate driver of that car managed to retrieve the black kitten who had crawled into the wheelhouse of her car, wrapping it securely in her jacket. Despite our best efforts, the grey kitten proved elusive and could not be seen anywhere.

My son who was with me, crawled under my car to look but we could not see the grey kitten at all anywhere. The other motorists soon lost interest and drove away. We were perplexed but needed to get out of the traffic, so we drove slowly over to a sidestreet and looked under my car again. We could not see anything. I wondered if it may have fallen out somewhere and hoped it was ok.

We eventually drove home to Lake Worth Beach, dropping off my son and picking up my daughter, who works at my law office. As we stepped out of the car at the office, my daughter astonishingly said she heard a faint meow. Could it be possible? Did the grey kitten manage to endure the 15-mile journey from Boynton Beach to Lake Worth Beach under my car? Filled with anticipation and uncertainty, we deliberated on the situation, realizing that immediate action was necessary.

We made the decision to take the car to a local mechanic just down the street, hoping to uncover the truth. The skeptical mechanic agreed to inspect the vehicle by putting it up on the lift. After a thorough examination, he concluded that there was no sign of the kitten. Disappointed but not entirely surprised, we left the shop, contemplating the possible outcomes. Perhaps it had found its way to safety before our arrival at the mechanic’s, or maybe it had slipped away unnoticed along the journey. The uncertainty tugged at our hearts as there were no more meow sounds coming from the car.

As the day came to a close, a sense of sadness lingered within me and my daughter, an unsettling feeling that something was amiss. I confided in my husband, recounting the events of the day, and although surprised, he, too, believed that the kitten must have found its way out. Friday morning arrived, and with it, that strange feeling persisted not knowing what happened to the little kitten.

My daughter and I drove to my office, just a short distance away, still feeling kind of hopeless about the day before. Stepping out of the car, we suddenly heard a distinct and rather loud meow. We both looked at each other in shock. Now I heard it myself for the first time! We rushed into the office, eager to share the development with Gabe, my paralegal, who, being a fellow cat enthusiast, eagerly volunteered to assist us in rescuing the trapped kitten.

Dressed in their work clothes, Gabe and my daughter courageously crawled beneath the car while I provided them with towels to lie on. However, accessing the kitten proved challenging, requiring some tools to remove the spare tire and gain better visibility. It was now meowing regularly, it must have been hungry and scared. I called my landlord, who lives upstairs from my office, and he promptly came down with the necessary equipment, including a jack to elevate the car further. Hours passed as they persevered under the scorching Florida sun, their determination unwavering. I was bringing them water in between watching the office for calls and clients.

Finally, the spare tire was removed, granting them a glimpse of the stranded kitten, tantalizingly close but still out of reach. The kitten had sought refuge atop the gas tank in a crevice, posing a unique challenge in reaching it in my older model Lexus SUV. Eager to seek guidance, I turned to the supportive community on Facebook, sharing our predicament within the local Lake Worth Beach group. In response, an outpouring of suggestions and kind offers flooded in, with many suggesting that we contact the fire department for assistance.

Without hesitation, I made the call, and within minutes, a fire truck arrived at the scene, carrying four dedicated firefighters. They meticulously examined the underside of the car, even utilizing their oxygen tank to blow air into the confined space, hoping to coax the frightened kitten out of its hiding spot. Alas, whether out of fear or because it was stuck, the kitten would not come out. The firefighters suggested that we give it some time, believing that eventually, it would emerge on its own. However, we knew deep down that we couldn’t simply wait and hope. And if it did come out of the car while we were all in the office, how would we know? Where would it go? How could I ever drive my car again not knowing? The little one had already spent over 24 hours beneath my car, and the thought of it still being there, hidden away, gnawed at our hearts. Why hadn’t it emerged when the car was parked overnight in front of my house? Did it venture out only to retreat once more? The questions swirled in our minds, the answers elusive.

Determined to ensure the kitten’s immediate rescue, we swiftly made arrangements to take the car to a different mechanic nearby. Having called ahead, we secured his assistance. My daughter and Gabe drove off in my car, leaving me at the office to handle clients and phone calls. Time ticked by, and then, an eagerly anticipated call arrived.

My daughter called me to explain that the mechanic had put the car up on the lift and resorted to spraying air into the confined space, hoping to coax the kitten out. Just as she was telling me they would have to dismantle the gas tank— the shots of air had done the trick! The kitten had finally fallen out from its hiding place, only to scurry into the stockroom amidst an array of tools. Without hesitation, Gabe leaped into action, diving into a pile of tools, determined to locate and secure the elusive feline. And triumphantly, he succeeded! They quickly sent me pictures of the kitten, nestled safely in a box with a towel we had placed in the car, just in case.

The overwhelming relief was wonderful as I eagerly awaited their return to the office. Once the kitten arrived, we carefully examined it. Despite its dusty appearance, it seemed to be unharmed from its extraordinary ordeal of being stuck under my car for over 24 hours, even while the car was being driven around the area. Determined to provide the best care, we took the kitten to the local vet for a thorough examination. It was then revealed that our resilient little friend was a boy, and we promptly named him Houdini. At four weeks old, he weighed a mere one pound but showed promising signs of good health.

Back at the office, our research on caring for such a tiny kitten began in earnest. We learned how to bathe him gently, meticulously combed out the fleas, and ensured he had a proper litter box. Houdini adapted quickly, astonishing us by learning to use the litter box within hours. His voracious appetite was no surprise, as he eagerly devoured his meals with gusto.

After everything we had been through, it became clear that Houdini was destined to be part of our lives. We felt a deep connection with him, a sense that he had found us so we could provide him with the care he deserved. Although none of us could take him home permanently, we devised a plan to make our office his new home. With all of us living mere minutes away, we could spend time with Houdini while we worked and after office hours. Additionally, our supportive landlord, residing upstairs, graciously agreed to lend a helping hand, checking on Houdini during times when we couldn’t be there.

Thus, a heartwarming resolution emerged — a happy ending to this extraordinary tale. Houdini is thriving in his newfound environment, relishing his meals, and delighting us with his playful antics. The local community proved to be a source of tremendous support, with business owners who had seen our Facebook post paying visits to the office to meet Houdini in person. As we work at our computers, Houdini finds solace on our laps, bringing comfort and cheer. His curious nature is leading him to explore every nook and cranny, always amusing us with his adorable and humorous antics.

For those who wish to continue following Houdini’s journey, we invite you to join him on his own Instagram page @lawkittyhoudini. There, you can keep up with his delightful adventures as we witness his growth and celebrate his indomitable spirit.

Nadine Heitz

Nadine Heitz is an immigration attorney in Lake Worth, Florida where she helps her clients obtain legal status in the United States. Book your consultation with her to find out how to solve your immigration issues and achieve your desired goals.