MIRACLE moggy Mumbo has used up one of her nine lives after surviving a trip to the shops – under the bonnet of a car.
Staff and customers at The Bridges, in Sunderland city centre, were whipped up into a feline frenzy after the cat was discovered trapped in the vehicle.
After driving to the centre from his home in Roker, driver Peter Simm discovered his motor wasn’t running properly.
Stopping his car to investigate, he discovered the stricken pet, just inches from death as she slid into the engine.
With the help of The Bridge’s operations manager, Kevin Rusby, Peter tried to free terrified Mumbo – who belonged to his neighbours and had been reported missing.
When their attempts proved unsuccessful, the fire brigade was called in to help.
Facing a race against time to retrieve the injured 13-year-old cat, crews were forced to strip down the front of the vehicle, which allowed Kevin to pluck Mumbo to safety.
He then took her to the vet to be checked over and have a cut on her back treated.
“Rescuing a cat from a car engine definitely wasn’t what I had in mind when I came into work that day,” said Kevin. “Peter and I tried to remove Mumbo, but it was proving too difficult for the two of us.
“The cat seemed to be in pain so we knew we needed to act quickly.
“By the time she was rescued, Peter’s car was in bits and wasn’t drivable, but he was just glad to have the cat out from under his bonnet safely.”
Mumbo suffered ligament damage and needed 20 stitches in her back after the ordeal.
She is now recovering at home with owners Sean and wife Simone Duffy.
“She was very, very lucky,” said Sean, from Roker.
“She has definitely used up one of her nine lives. She was moments away from being wrapped around the engine. They could see her tail swishing from under the wheel arch.”
HR manager Sean, 43, said it was also lucky that neighbour Peter spotted a flyer which he posted through his letter box.
“She had gone missing the night before,” said the dad-of-one. “She is a house cat and isn’t really very street smart. We think she must have found her way under the car after she sneaked out of the house.
“Shortly after I’d been round to post the flyers, I got a call on my mobile saying she was safe.”
Teacher Simone said despite Mumbo’s ordeal, she was doing well.
“We’re so glad she’s back,” she added. “We can’t thank our neighbour enough.”