Chippy the kitten stops highway traffic on Highway 1; CHP officers rescue wayward cat from engine of Prius

SPCA Monterey County took a kitten into their care that was rescued by California Highway Patrol officers.

An officer stopped traffic on Highway 1 in Monterey to help the kitten running in the middle of the lanes last week

“A motorist saw the scared kitten and I was called to the scene,” said Officer Ryan Moore to the SPCA. “At first I stopped on the left hand side, but when I went to grab the kitten, she ran across the lanes. I immediately thought ‘oh gosh, please don’t get hit!’”

SPCA Humane Investigations Supervisor Jacob Duarte poses with the kitten he found hiding in a Prius. The kitten was taken back to SPCA for food, water and a vet exam. (Photo courtesy of SPCA Monterey County)

SPCA Humane Investigations Supervisor Jacob Duarte uses tools to help find the kitten hidden in the fuel tank of a car. Duarte had to take a few pieces apart to be able to locate her. (Photo courtesy of SPCA Monterey County)

CHP Officer Ryan Moore poses with Chippy the kitten after finding her on Highway 1 in Monterey. Moore said he couldn’t leave the kitten to fend for itself, and was happy to be able to rescue her. (Photo courtesy of SPCA Monterey County)

(Photo courtesy of SPCA Monterey County)

Chippy the kitten was named after the CHP officers that rescued her from Highway 1. The SPCA is currently looking after her, and plan to put her up for adoption next week. (Photo courtesy of SPCA Monterey County)



Knowing that the kitten was skittish and likely to run again, Moore stopped traffic briefly on the highway to save the cat.

However, as Moore attempted to catch the kitten again, she jumped into the wheel well of a Prius and crawled up into the fuel tank. The driver of the Prius, Tom Greely, was on his way to work.

“I was driving to work on Highway 1 right before the Highway 68 turnoff when CHP Officer Moore started the traffic break,” said Greely. “I could see the tiny kitten running on the shoulder of the highway.”

With the kitten hiding out of sight and out of reach, Moore contacted the SPCA for help and SPCA Humane Investigations Supervisor Jacob Duarte arrived on scene to help the kitten.

Duarte said he could hear the kitten, but couldn’t see or reach her. He ensured she was in a place where she would not get hurt with the engine on. Then, for the safety of the kitten and highway drivers, Greely slowly moved the vehicle to a parking lot nearby, with CHP following him with emergency lights on.

Once in the parking lot, Duarte could hear the kitten more clearly without highway traffic nearby. He used a camera on a wire to help locate the kitten and had to remove a few car parts, but was able to get her safely.

The rescue delay made Greely over two hours late for work, but he said saving the kitten was worth it.

“At first I had a moment of ‘why did this cat pick my car of all cars,’ but it was a really heartwarming reinforcement of the good in society,” Greely said. “The CHP officers were so great, Jacob was amazing, and together we made a difference and saved this little kitten.”

The kitten was named Chippy, to honor the CHP officers who helped her and she is recovering at the SPCA and has gone through exams. She will be available for adoption next week.


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