An adventurous kitten earned a new name and home today after it wandered into busy traffic on Auckland's airport motorway, alarming motorists and sparking a police call-out.
Police sprang into action to save the stranded cat after a concerned driver alerted emergency services.
Two policemen sped to the kitten's aid on motorbikes, temporarily cordoning off Hugh Watt Drive to carry out the rescue operation.
The tiny cat was safely tucked inside one of the officers' jackets and hand delivered to a police dispatcher who had expressed interest in giving it a safer home.
Despite its ordeal, police said the kitten was in great spirits, and staff have christened it "Lucky".
Wendy, a police communications centre dispatcher, who declined to give her last name, is the first to offer a home to the white kitten with tabby splotches.
"He's going to spend the night with me and we'll decide what we're going to do with him tomorrow because there's a few girls at work that have offered to take him as well," she told NZPA.
Wendy said because she already had four cats and she would be happy to let one of her co-workers give him a home.
"I only offered to take him really because I didn't want the poor little thing in the SPCA."
It was also possible that the owner might turn up.
"He's very friendly, he's someone's pet."
Wendy took Lucky to the vet this afternoon, where he was given a check up, wormed and vaccinated.
He suffered a few minor injuries from his ordeal with a couple of cuts to the face where stones had got him, she said.
He also had some toenails missing from clinging on to the motorway and grazes on his feet.
Aside from that he was a little bit skinny, but otherwise in fine health, Wendy said.
"He's very inquisitive." She could certainly see how he ended up "stuck on the motorway".
He was a happy, cuddly cat who did not seemed too shaken by his ordeal.
"As we were at the vets, he was digging around in the dog biscuits and running round the back of the computer and being a little bit nosey," Wendy said.
"He lost one of his nine lives today and is continuing on his nosey parker ways."
The vet estimated he was about 11-weeks-old.
- NZHERALD STAFF, NZPA