A tiny ginger and white kitten caused a busy section of a New Zealand freeway to shut down–as deputies scrambled to rescue the frightened critter.
Police in Auckland reacted quickly to a report by a concerned member of the public that a “small orange and white ball of fluff was trying its hardest to cause several accidents” on the Southwestern Motorway (state highway 20).
In a Jan. 2 post on the Auckland City District Police Facebook fanpage, officers boasted that the little offender already has a name—Maioro—after “the closest motorway off ramp from which she was rescued.”
But Maioro’s curbside detention was no walk in the park.
Police officers found the terrified kitty “huddled up against the concrete barrier.” But when an officer approached, the kitten was spooked and “bolted across three lanes of traffic, narrowly avoiding the worst,” police wrote.
“Now trapped on a small central strip she required the motorway to be temporarily blocked,” the post continued.
After “a short game of cat and mouse” it is reported the feline fugitive was apprehended and safely stowed inside a police vehicle.
But the tiny creature’s misadventures didn’t end there.
After making a phone call and taking a photograph of the cat, the officer found the perp was nowhere to be found.
A thorough search was conducted, but turned up empty.
It wasn’t until the officer returned to the station and heard the faintest meow coming from the vehicle’s dashboard, that a breakthrough came in this escapee-turned-missing-kitten case.
Mechanics were summoned. The entire dashboard disassembled. Maioro was finally discovered–”tucked around a heating fan.”
The female cat is reportedly recovering from her foibles by apparently engaging in colorful frolick.
And while some of the police said they are hopeful that she will be homed shortly, others are trying to convince their fellow officers to keep the cat as the station mouser.
This is not the first time police in New Zealand have had to rescue a cat off the freeway.
According to the New Zealand Herald, a tabby kitten was found on Auckland’s Southern Motorway last year, causing multiple lanes to be temporarily shut.