You may or may not remember the hit song Tony Orlando sang way back in 1970 called “Knock Three Times.” He was clearly singing about cats who find their way under car hoods. Before starting your engine in the morning, knock three times on the car hood.
When it’s very cold outside, cats find warmth wherever they can. Slinking under the car hood is like finding an electric blanket, at least from the cat’s point of view. Not only is under the car hood warm, it’s also out of the elements, which may include snow and/or rain. And it’s safe. Well, at least safe from predators.
Typically, that cat under the hood is a community or feral cat, but it might be your own cat. If you allow your cat to wander about in the garage, the cat may be attracted to the warmth – even if going into the house is an option. Cats reason in the here and now, and right now it may seem like a good idea.
In October, I wrote about how a kitten at became trapped under a car hood in Spring Township, Pennsylvania. The kitty was apparently spooked by something and made his way into the engine. When tuna fish failed, the fire department was needed to rescue the wedged-in kitty. The good news for this kitty is that the car’s owner heard the “meow, meow.”
However, not all cats are so lucky. When the engine is started, at best the cat can suffer injuries, and truly become mangled. Another scenario is that the trapped cat can’t make it out alive.
Save cats: Knock three times on the car hood in the morning.
This article was reviewed/edited by board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Kenneth Martin and/or veterinary technician specialist in behavior Debbie Martin, LVT.
Steve Dale, CABC (certified animal behavior consultant), hosts two national pet radio shows and is on WGN Radio, Chicago. He’s a regular contributor/columnist for many publications, including CATSTER, Veterinary Practice News, and the Journal of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. He’s appeared on dozens of TV shows, including Oprah, many Animal Planet Programs, and National Geographic Explorer. He has contributed to or authored many pet books and veterinary textbooks such as “The Cat: Clinical Medicine and Management” and co-edited Decoding Your Dog, by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. He speaks at conferences around the world. www.stevedale.tv.
Published January 11, 2021