By Gregory Kirby and Jack Dyson
A terrified kitten hid inside a red-hot car engine to get away from evil seagulls as she was being pecked to death.
Driving instructor Alex Holder pulled over to help out the stricken kitten, which was being dive-bombed and pecked by circling gulls.
But as soon as he stopped his car, the terrified kitten scrambled under his car and sprang up into the engine compartment and refused to come out – even though it was hot.
Alex, 37, raised the car with a jack and called firefighters who arrived at the scene in Herne Bay, Kent, with thermal-imaging cameras on October 9.
But the rescue team could not find the stray kitten after spending more than an hour trying to coax her from inside the Ford Fiesta’s engine block.
Eventually the little grey kitten ran away, and she was found a week later, still suffering from her injuries.
His wife Claire said: “Two pupils messaged the picture over to Alex last Thursday and he said, ‘that’s the kitten, 100 per cent’.
“She was found in a garden near Albany Drive. They thought she was a ferret.
“A volunteer from Bubble 2 Bay who works with ferrets went down and found it was a tiny kitten.
“She managed to get hold of her and take her to the vets.
“The vets realised there was an old break in her leg, which is thought to be why the mother abandoned her.
“They think she was about eight weeks old.”
It is thought the little kitten was born to a stray.
Volunteer Jess Kemp managed to grab hold of the kitten before passing her to vets, but they were unable to save the seriously injured kitten, who was nicknamed Tesla.
Jess said: “We were all devastated and absolutely gutted.
“She had made it through the worst part of the operation, but died under anaesthetic as she was being sewn up.”