The four-week-old kitten traveled from Port Jefferson Station to East Hampton to Riverhead trapped under the hood of a Honda. Courtesy photo: Kent Animal Shelter

A Port Jefferson Station man drove from his home to East Hampton and was on his way back to Port Jefferson when he realized he’d been hearing cries coming from under his hood, said Kent Animal Shelter executive director Pamela Green.

When he stopped and opened the hood of his Honda, he saw the kitten on the engine, but when he reached for it, the kitten scrambled down into the space in front of the radiator. The man stopped at Apple Honda in Riverhead to ask for help.

The dealership’s service manager Charlie Vassallo and his team of technicians dropped what they were doing to work on freeing the kitten.

The poor little guy was wedged between the radiator and the front bumper cover, Vassallo said. The technicians couldn’t reach him and every time they got close, he burrowed further down.

“We finally took the bumper off and were able to get it out,” Vassallo said. The kitten was unharmed.

It took about an hour of their time, but Apple declined to accept payment for their effort.

“We’re a family-owned business and the owners are very community-minded,” said Linda Hulse, assistant to Bill Fields, general manager and Apple co-owner.

Green estimates that the kitten is only about four weeks old. “He’s really tiny,” she said.

The Port Jefferson man brought the kitten to Kent Animal Shelter, a private no-kill shelter located on River Road in Calverton.

The shelter staff named the kitten “Honda.”

Honda is now in a foster home and will be available for adoption when old enough.

“He’s too young to be in a shelter,” Green explained.

The shelter asks anyone interested in adopting Honda to contact their adoption center (tel. 631-727-5731).


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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.