Three kittens stow away in car engine from Netherlands to Bracknell
An appeal has been made to save three Dutch kittens who ended up in the UK after stowing away in a car engine.
The trio - named Edam, Gouda and Tulip - were discovered by car mechanics after surviving the 311-mile journey from Eindhoven to Bracknell, Berkshire.
Christian Lampkin and his family drove home without knowing the six-week-old cats were hidden inside the vehicle.
After being quarantined, a pet charity is raising money to ensure the "sweet kitty babies are not put to sleep".
Mr Lampkin and his family, from Ashford in Kent, were staying at a holiday park in the Netherlands, leaving their car unused for a week.
They made the discovery while visiting relatives in Bracknell.
"Two days after we got back, I returned from golf and there was a lot of meowing," he said.
"I had a look under the bonnet, there were two cats there, but they shot back into the engine."
When he called mechanics to get the cats out of the car, they found a third kitten hidden inside.
"I was totally gobsmacked that these cats didn't make a sound for two days," said Mr Lampkin.
"They travelled over 200 miles by car to the ferry, then from Ashford to Berkshire, and we never had an inkling they were in the car."
The kittens were handed to the Diana Brimblecombe Animal Rescue Centre (DBARC) in Reading, which has described the experience as "a first (and not one we want to repeat!)".
As the animals were unwittingly smuggled into the country, they had to be placed in quarantine which will cost £3,000.
DBARC has set up a crowdfunding page to raise money to cover the cost of saving the cats.