Stowaway French cat survives 300-MILE journey to Britain trapped in bumper of Northampton couple's car
A three-month-old kitten is recovering after surviving a 300 mile journey from France to Britain trapped in the bumper of a Northampton couple's car.
Doug and Renee Bliss, both 68, of Duston, were left stunned after finding the stowaway cat firmly wedged in the grille on their Hyundai i30 after they got home from holiday.
They had been making their way back from the St Malo, in the north of France, when the puss is believed to have got stuck just before they boarded a ferry.
After the pensioners arrived at Portsmouth International Port around 12 hours later, the cat then endured a 37-mile journey at 70mph to Sutton Scotney Services.
It was at that point they heard a faint meowing and discovered their unwanted passenger clinging to the car near the headlight when they opened their bonnet.
Retired science teacher Doug said: "He seemed to be trapped in front of the radiator behind the headlamp.
"You could barely see him when he was trapped. I had to bend down and reach into the car from below just to touch him.
"We can't imagine how he got in there."
Renee added: "We left the car at 8pm French time and drove away again at 7am the next morning, UK time. He could've been in there for over 12 hours.
"When we stopped at the services I couldn't believe what I was hearing, meowing coming from the bonnet of the car.
"We had just driven for almost an hour and a half without stopping.
"There was heavy traffic on the M27 and M3 and it was a stop-start journey. It must have been horrendous for him."
The couple could not pull the kitten out and called Britannia Rescue to the service station on the A23 on October 17.
The car was then taken to the nearest garage, Bakers of Oakley, in Basingstoke, where mechanics removed the entire bumper to free the distressed kitten.
The puss, later named Malo, was quarantined for 21 days before being taken to charity Blue Cross who have now put him up rehoming.
Rennee, a retired laboratory technician, added: "When he was finally freed, the poor little thing looked terrified.
"He's absolutely gorgeous, and if we didn't already have two rescue cats of our own, we would have jumped at the chance to take him on ourselves."
Lara Alford, centre manager for Blue Cross Southampton, said: "Little Malo is so lucky to be in good health.
"They drove all the way to Sutton Scotney Services for a pit stop where they heard a cat meowing.
"They looked at the car and could see through the front grille a kitten clinging on for its life. It's such a scary journey for such a small animal."
"As soon as we met Malo we knew he'd be a wonderful addition to someone's family.
"He's had quite a journey to get here, so would love to find a loving home to settle down in and really be able to show his true colours."