This is the tale of Max the cat, an adventurous beast who recently got himself into quite the pickle.
Earlier this week, Dominic Pimenta, a doctor who lives in London, drove his wife to her night shift — about half an hour from their home — and on his way back, he stopped in at the supermarket for milk.
When Pimenta got out the car, he heard a mysterious meowing and set about working out where it was coming from.
“I look under the car, around the wheels, God have I run it over?!” he tweeted, in a thread which was shared thousands of times.
“Can’t see anything. Perhaps I’m going insane, there’s certainly enough reason to lately,” he continued.
“And then another, ‘meow’.
“I think it’s coming from MY car.”
Indeed it was. Pimenta looked inside the engine and discovered his pet cat, Max, nestled in the middle of it and seeming not entirely sure what to do with himself.
“I was pretty panicked,” Pimenta told BuzzFeed News, not least because by the time he discovered Max, he had been driving for around an hour.
He stopped a passerby, who happened to be a nurse, and asked for help.
“It’s funny — with her being a nurse and me being a doctor we felt instantly on familiar territory of solving a problem,” Pimenta continued.
“We ran our hands around him to make sure he wasn’t injured or caught on anything, and nothing seemed to be stuck — he just didn’t want to come out,” he said.
“I think he was facing one way and there was no way to turn around. He’d got in but then couldn’t get out and didn’t seem to want to try and come backwards.”
Eventually they had to call the fire brigade, who were on the scene in minutes to help poor Max out.
“It was a bit of an unusual job, none of us had ever had a call like that,” London Fire Brigade crew manager Adam Gottlieb told BuzzFeed News.
It eventually took almost two hours, and a trip into the supermarket to buy tools, to get Max out of the engine.
“It was difficult to see him — he had got himself quite comfortable — but we removed an air filter from the engine and pulled him out,” Gottlieb continued.
“We did think the worst initially, especially when he said he’d been driving around for an hour with him in there, but there wasn’t a scratch on him.”
Max is now safely back home and up to his old tricks of hiding in cupboards and under the bed.
“Every time the cupboard is open he’ll try and get in there,” Pimenta added.
“His current favourite place in the house is under the bed. I’ve found him locked in cupboards before and we have to be very careful about the washing machine.
“He’s the kind of cat that if you leave a blanket on the ground he’ll try and get under it and purr away.”
It’s not the first time Max has got himself into a scrape: “Once he came home and he’d cut [off] half his tail,” Pimenta told us.
“We never found out how he did it, and I’m beginning to suspect it might have been from an engine, in retrospect,” he added.
To keep him out of trouble, Max will now not be allowed out for a bit.
Pimenta said: “He’s supposed to be a house cat because we’ve just moved, so it was a bit strange that he was found inside my engine.”