Purrfect outcome after Deputies save kitten


Middle Keys Deputies saved a kitten Monday after they found it hitching a ride under Deputy Jonathan Rodriguez’s patrol car.


The story begins at approximately 9:08 a.m. when Deputies received reports that a kitten was running close to southbound traffic near Mile Marker 47 on the Seven Mile Bridge. Deputy Rodriguez responded to find a deceased adult cat — suspected to be the kitten’s mother — in the roadway at the base of the bridge.


Deputy Rodriguez stopped. He saw the kitten run toward his patrol car and apparently exit the bridge, back to safety. Deputy Rodriguez continued to look for the kitten near the base of the bridge to no avail. He alerted other Deputies that there was a kitten near the base of the bridge that may reenter traffic. Other calls came in and Deputy Rodriguez had to leave the scene.


Hours later toward the end-of-shift, at approximately 6 p.m., Sgt. Joel Slough heard a cat meowing from under Deputy Rodriguez’s patrol car. After several minutes, Deputy Frank Westerband was able to obtain visual confirmation that the kitten was sitting on the rear axle.


The call went out throughout the Sheriff’s Office Marathon Substation as both day and night shift Deputies went to work trying to rescue the kitten. The Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was also called for assistance. Cat food was used in attempt to lure the scared kitten out of the vehicle, but no luck. Both rear tires were removed from the car as the kitten kept retreating to a small void between the rear axle and the fuel tank.


Finally, Animal Control Officer Aryel Del Cueto was able to safety remove the kitten.


The kitten — nicknamed “Pawcifer Lucky” — is now resting comfortably at the FKSPCA in Marathon.