Kitten Found in Car Engine Lucky to be Alive

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Fall is turning colder and Metropolitan Veterinary Associates recently provided life-saving care to the kitten Engy - now Mr. Biscuits - who used one of his nine lives trying to get warm in a car engine.

A recent routine work commute turned out to be anything but routine for one driver and a stray orange and white cat.

After a chilly night, a man from the East Falls section of Philadelphia got into his car and drove to work. His steering wasn’t working well and when he arrived at his office, he opened the hood and found a cat looking back at him. Philadelphia Animal Control officers Don Choi and Yamil Dia responded to assist, and found the hapless feline injured and stuck in the engine components. They worked for nearly two hours to free the little cat, who they named Engy.

Burned and critically injured, Engy was taken to the Philadelphia Animal Care and Control facility, where he was given initial stabilizing treatment and pain medication, while the shelter’s Life Saving department desperately searched for a rescue to take him in. But shelter volunteer Marta Skuza couldn’t wait and had him transported to Metropolitan Veterinary Associates and Emergency Services (MVA).

“I couldn’t stand him lying there, waiting to see if someone would step up and be his angel,” Skuza said, “so I decided to try to help him and I would figure out the rest later.”

Skuza then contacted The Grannie Project animal rescue, who agreed to take in the injured cat – despite not having a clear picture of his age.

“We usually rescue older cats, but sometimes, there’s that little face you just can’t turn away from and you have to make a decision not knowing all the facts up front,” said Amanda Cox, Executive Director of The Grannie Project.

MVA emergency veterinarians Dr. Meghan Romano and Dr. Dana Yard rushed Engy to emergency surgery when he arrived to determine the extent of his injuries and clean and debride his wounds.

“Thankfully, the burns didn’t penetrate the abdominal wall as we initially feared,” said Dr. Romano, “the muscle layer is affected in places, but we are hopeful that with careful wound management, we will be able to save him.”

Engy – now Mr. Biscuits – is burned over 30% of his body, and faces days – if not weeks - of intensive hospitalization, along with daily procedures to care for his wounds, and the placement of a feeding tube to ensure he is getting proper nutrition. He will also very likely require one, if not multiple, skin grafts to cover the areas burned away by the car engine.

MVA surgeon Dr. Jacqui Niles and a team of nurses are continuing to care for Mr. Biscuits round-the-clock. His prognosis is good, but guarded as large burns are prone to infection. And it turns out Mr. Biscuits is just a young guy – only about 8-10 months old.

Says Cox, “We know that Mr. Biscuits found us for a reason, and we would like to remind people with the weather getting colder, to knock on their hood or honk their horn when they get in their car in the morning, before they start the engine.”

Stray cats often seek out the warmth of an engine, particularly when the weather is just starting to turn cold. Most cats trapped in a running engine don’t fare as well as Mr. Biscuits, who is inarguably one very lucky fellow.

“We’re hopeful that Mr. Biscuits’ story will save a life or prevent a cat from getting injured in an engine.” says Cox.    

As for Mr. Biscuits, he’s resting comfortably, happy on his pain medication, and being tended to 24/7 by the nurses and doctors whose hearts he quickly won. And his new name? Chosen because when he arrived at MVA, despite his pain, he was kneading the blanket he was wrapped in – popularly known as “making biscuits.”

About The Grannie Project
Inspired by the rescue of 20-year-old sisters Kate and Juliet from a high-kill shelter, The Grannie Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit, no kill animal rescue group. Specializing in the rescue and re-homing of senior pets, The Grannie Project also strives to educate the public about the joys of owning an older companion animal. Learn more at http://www.thegrannieproject.org.

About Metropolitan Veterinary Associates and Emergency Services
Metropolitan Veterinary Associates and Emergency Services (MVA) is a renowned provider of specialty and emergency veterinary care in Philadelphia’s western suburbs. Serving referring veterinarians and the general public for more than 25 years, MVA is staunchly dedicated to providing the highest standard of veterinary care to our patients and their families. Learn more at http://www.metro-vet.com.

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Amanda Cox

Amanda Cox