A lorry driver got more than he bargained for on his shift when he found a tiny kitten in the middle of the motorway.
Richard Tubbs, a driver for storage company Mobile Mini in Southampton, was driving his large lorry back to the Marchwood yard when he spotted the little black kitten on the motorway.
“It was one of those days of intense downpours every five minutes, and the traffic was stop-start as I neared the Hedge End turn-off. I was in the centre lane and, as a silver car in front of me moved forward, I noticed a little black thing on the tarmac. I released my brakes and was about to move forward when I thought I saw it move. I adore all animals and couldn’t bear to think of something suffering, soI stopped, put all my hazard warning lights on, and climbed down from the cab to see what it was. To my utter amazement, it was the smallest baby kitten I had ever seen, just lying in the centre of the M27. I had no idea how on earth it got there, but I just picked it up, and it fitted neatly into the palm of my hand.”
Richard wrapped the kitten, which was soaking wet, in his work fleece in a bid to keep it warm.
“As I drove back to the yard, I stroked its little head with my finger and, although it sounds strange, I talked to it to try to reassure the little thing everything would be alright,”
“When I arrived at the yard, Emma Courtney, the office manager, took charge and whizzed the little mite down to the vet’s.”
The kitten was rushed to Seadown vet’s in Hythe, Southampton, where vet nurse Amanda Holyoake was on duty.
“One of the receptionists came in with the kitten wrapped up in a high-vis vest and explained it had been found on the M27. I gave her a quick check over and took her to a vet so they could check her, too.
“She was about two weeks old, as one of her eyes was starting to open. She was a little chilly, so we warmed her up and managed to get her to feed on some specialist cat milk. We checked her weight, and I made a feeding plan. Despite being found in the middle of the motorway, she didn’t have any injuries and seemed a perfectly healthy, tiny kitten.”
Over the following weeks, Monica, named after the feisty ‘Friends’ character, was cared for by the team at Seadown in the day and went home with Amanda in the evenings.
“Monica needed feeding every two to three hours for the first week, and then we began weaning her. She came home with me every day so I could feed and toilet her through the night. I have assisted with newborn kittens before when mum hasn’t been interested at the start, but this was the first time I had taken a kitten home to hand-rear. I also took her into work with me every day to make sure she was thriving and taking enough feeds. The only bump we had was she got a little constipated during the first week I had her and, when she eventually did pass faeces, it made her bottom a little sore, but that soon passed. She was the perfect model for handrearing - weaning her was easy, and she was litter trained surprisingly quickly.”
Monica, aka Monica Zoom Zoom (due to the circumstances in which she was found), is certainly living up to her name and is growing into a happy, playful kitten - and, as Your Cat Magazine went to press, had just moved into her new home with Seadown equine vet Laura Trigg.
"Laura totally fell in love withher cheekiness, and the decision was made that Monica would join her family when she was ready. Monica is such a little character and so adorable. All of the team at Seadown absolutely adore her and are thrilled she is doing so well. It was a truly compassionate act by a very kind man to stop his lorry to save this little kitten, and it does the heart good to know there are people like Richard in the world. Everyone at Seadown can’t thank him enough for giving little Monica a chance at life.”