Cam Hendry, Operations Manager for TransDev/Kansas City Transportation Group, tells the story of a potentially cat-astrophic situation on Feb. 19-20. KCATA contracts with TransDev to provide RideKC Freedom paratransit service for eligible people with disabilities and the elderly.
Yesterday around 4:30 in the afternoon one of our paratransit drivers for RideKCFreedom reported that a small kitten had fallen out from underneath a moving truck. The kitten had then run underneath our vehicle and had crawled up underneath it. When the Freedom driver called in on the radio, we could hear the kitten crying. I dispatched one of our Road Supervisors to the scene at 31st and Benton.
For over an hour our driver, the road supervisor and some helpful citizens tried to coax the cat from the under carriage of the vehicle. We bought some cat food and some tuna to assist in our efforts. The kitten continued to cry but would not show itself at all.
We could tell that the kitten was located towards the rear of the vehicle and was not in any danger of being in the engine compartment. After almost 90 minutes I instructed the driver to bring the bus back to base slowly with the road supervisor following behind him. The snow storm was moving in and it was getting dark. I felt we had no other choice.
We secured the vehicle in a garage area for the night and left food and water out for the kitten.
This morning (Feb. 20) around 8 a.m., after getting the RideKC Freedom vehicles out on the road, the same road supervisor and I entered the enclosed garage area. We happily discovered that ALL of the food and water had been eaten.
While we heard no sound from the kitten we were certain that he or she was still in the garage. When we popped the hood of the engine, one of our mechanics said the kitten scurried down underneath the vehicle. An hour or so later, and with several mechanics searching we could not find the kitten. At that point, we made the decision to move the vehicle into the shop area and use the lift to raise the vehicle up so we could get underneath it. The same road supervisor who had attempted to rescue the kitten last night was tasked with driving the vehicle around the Kansas City Transportation Group complex to the shop entrance. When he arrived at the shop he reported that he had heard the kitten crying.
We closed the shop doors to secure the kitten inside and we could hear the kitten crying. Using lights and a cell phone camera we determined that the kitten had crawled up on top of the gas tank in the rear of the vehicle. After more attempts to coax the kitten out were unsuccessful the shop manager made the decision to drop the gas tank. I am sure that the sound of the impact wrenches were scary for the kitten, but shortly after we were able to see her!
Mechanics remove the gas tank to rescue the kitten now known as Bus Stop.
After several attempts and a few scratches to staff members we secured her in a box and immediately brought her to Kansas City Pet Project. We lovingly named her “Bus Stop,” and are so hopeful that she is doing well and will find a loving home, inside, and never have to go through anything like that again!
The RideKC Freedom drivers and the staff here at the Kansas City Transportation Group thank KCPP for taking her in and caring for her.
RideKC hopes "Bus Stop" gets a nice, warm home.