Cindy Lou Who is looking for a home, Grinches need not apply.
This 2-year-old Maine Coon cat had a rough end to 2020. According to the Arizona Humane Society (AHS), in December, the fluffy feline found herself injured and stuck in a car engine.
It's unclear how Cindy Lou Who ended up caught inside a vehicle in Phoenix – but the car's owner quickly discovered the cat when they turned the car on because Cindy let out howls that could be heard across the parking lot. Thinking quickly, the car owner called the AHS for help.
AHS Field Operations Supervisor, Ruthie Jesus, was dispatched to help with the rescue. Once she arrived on the scene, Jesus and the car's owner worked together to free the cat. They jacked up the car, removed a front wheel and wheel well, and got to a point where they thought they could free Cindy from the engine. Unfortunately, when Jesus reached in to free the cat, she discovered the feline was wedged between two hot metal plates near the fan belt and would need more help to escape the engine since some of her skin was fused to the plates.
Jesus decided to call her AHS colleague, AHS Vice President of Medical Operations Dr. Melissa Thompson, who is also a veterinarian, for backup. Dr. Thompson arrived with her surgery kit and went to work, getting shoulder-deep in the engine to remove the portion of Cindy's skin that was stuck to the metal plates.
After 30 minutes of work, Dr. Thompson was able to free the cat three hours are she was found inside the car. After being cut out of the engine, Cindy was immediately rushed to AHS' Second Chance Animal Trauma Hospital to get a medical check and to have her wounds cleaned. Unfortunately, the feline's trauma wasn't quite over. During Cindy's medical check, vets discovered that the cat had eaten wiring and electrical tape from inside the car's engine in an attempt to free herself. It took three surgeries to address all of the injuries and obstructions from Cindy's time inside the car's engine.
The Maine Coon has now emerged from this harrowing ordeal fully-healed and ready to find her forever home.
"Those interested in adopting Cindy Lou Who are encouraged to visit azhumane.org/adopt to schedule an appointment to meet her. She is rather shy and will take some time to warm up after what she has been through, but will be a wonderful addition to any family," AHS said in a statement.
While the AHS' top priority is finding Cindy, and other pets like her, a home, the rescue also hopes Cindy's story is a reminder to drivers to tap on their car's hood before starting the engine, especially during winter months, since it is common for animals to seek out car engines as a warm place to stay during colder months.
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