A two-month-old kitten has survived a hot 200km trip from Papamoa to Auckland after stowing away under the bonnet of a car.
The story of the grey, furry hitch-hiker began on Sunday when Auckland resident Kim McMillan and husband Cam left Hebe Crescent in Papamoa about 1pm to drive home to Forrest Hill on Auckland's North Shore.
The pair stopped at Subway in Ngatea at 3pm for about 10 minutes and got home two hours later.
Then they heard the meowing.
"We got home, started to unpack the car and five minutes later we heard this meow," Mrs McMillan told the Bay of Plenty Times.
They at first thought it was a neighbourhood cat but after five minutes realised the noise was coming from their car.
"Initially we were looking under the car -- but it was wedged up between the side of the engine and the side of the wheel, where people would lean on or put their rags when doing engine work. We were shocked. When my husband heard it was coming from the bonnet, he panicked a little bit, thinking it can't be in there."
Mrs McMillan said it took her husband about five minutes to get the kitten out.
"She was pretty flustered and hot. She hissed for a little while, obviously it was a bit scared."
The kitten was wedged into the car so tightly it would not have been able to remove itself.
They gave it some water and time to recover -- and it was "good as gold".
The next day the couple posted the story of their stowaway on Facebook and decided to take it to a vet until its owner could be found.
Posts on Facebook have been shared hundreds of times to find the kitten's owner but no one has come forward yet.
Mrs McMillan said the vet believed the kitten was not a stray.
"It is somebody's pet. It was very, very playful and liked attention. They did say it was lucky to be alive. It was pretty hot in there. An engine for four hours, can you imagine how hot it would have been?
"We called it Lucky, as it was lucky it survived that trip."