Metro-East News

If cats have nine lives, this one is happily down to eight

A member of the Swansea Fire Department saves a cat that had crawled into the engine of a parked car at McDonald’s, 2605 N. Illinois, on Tuesday afternoon. The cat, Toto, was not harmed after being stuck in the engine for a half hour.
A member of the Swansea Fire Department saves a cat that had crawled into the engine of a parked car at McDonald’s, 2605 N. Illinois, on Tuesday afternoon. The cat, Toto, was not harmed after being stuck in the engine for a half hour.

The way John McGuire sees it, Toto has eight lives left.

McGuire, fire chief for the Swansea Fire Department, was among of a a group of firefighters who saved a cat that was stuck in the engine compartment of a parked car at McDonald’s, 2605 N. Illinois St., on Tuesday afternoon.

Swansea firefighters responded to call made from the restaurant about 3 p.m. When they got there, they found a cat whose paw had gotten stuck inside the engine. The cat had gotten loose after it was being taken out of an animal carrier. The cat ran away from its owner. It went under a car and eventually crawled into the engine of the vehicle before getting stuck.

“The cat was pretty scared,” McGuire said. “It didn’t want anyone messing with it.”

The cat was stuck for approximately 30 minutes before firefighters arrived. McGuire said the cat was stuck between the engine and the car’s firewall.

“There was no way he was going to come out from the top,” he said.

So firefighters used their equipment to jack the car. Three minutes after a firefighter went under the car, Toto was reunited with its owner, shaken but alive.

In a Facebook post he made on the department’s page, McGuire said the cat “has eight lives left!”

McGuire said his department responds to a few animal assist calls per year. Getting a cat out of a car engine, he said, was unique.

Don O’Brien: 618-239-2626, @DOBrienBND

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