Wellington, Oct 23 : A kitten has been aptly named Axle after completing a daring 12km journey across South Auckland hidden behind a car's front wheel.
Tina Dawber had been at a family gathering in Ridgemount Rise, Mangere Bridge, with her three kids, Seneti, nine, Haleni, six, and Ocean, four, last week, when the kitten climbed under her car.
The kids had been playing with a neighbourhood cat and her kittens before lunch and when the family left her brother, Titie Lauta's house at around 5.30 pm they were unaware that one of the kittens was on board.
Driving along Roscommon Road minutes into the 12.7 km journey home - that included a stint along the South-western Motorway - Dawber said that she thought she heard something.
"I was thinking I'm hearing voices so I didn't mention anything," Stuff. co. nz quoted her as saying.
Dawber's paranoia got worse while she was passing a nearby cemetery where her late father was buried, "could It be my dad", she thought.
But when she heard what she thought was a distinctive meow sounds she slowed the vehicle and made her kids search in and around their seats and reassure her that they weren't playing any joke on her.
The kids searched but could find no sign of a feline.
When the Dawbers reached their home they searched the vehicle but didn't hear so much as a peep out of the kitten.
On subsequent searches they heard a meow, but still were not able to find the cat.
When Dawber's husband, Alex, arrived home from work he too searched, initially finding nothing but his daughter Seneti was adamant that there was a cat underneath the car so he kept searching and around 10.30 pm he found it.
"I was trying to hear for it but when I'd go out there the kitten would stop (making noise)... so I started creeping and listening and I heard a meow so I started feeling around under the car where I heard the noise and there was this concave area behind the wheel, on the inside, and it was hidden there," Alex said.
The family hadn't had a pet, despite the kids wanting a "lizard, a turtle or a puppy" and Dawber didn't really want one, "then I saw this little baby thing in a box".
Dawber said that the kitten wasn't injured during the car trip and didn't appear to be suffering from any "post traumatic disorder," but had so far spent most of it's time hiding under household furniture. (ANI)