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Monica Kopecky, 29, of Plano, received more than she bargained for when she took her Dodge Neon into the shop for a scheduled oil change Thursday.
"One of the guys came over and asked me if I had a black and white cat," she said. "Because there was a cat on my engine when the popped the hood. I was completely surprised, because it's a 16 mile drive from Plano to the dealership (in Aurora)."
The technician who worked on the car, Mickey Hanks, was equally surprised.
"The place where it was sitting, on the radiator hose, gets pretty hot," he said. "It was in shock at first, but I'm surprised it wasn't seriously injured."
Hanks and the garage crew tried giving the cat, which they call Neon after the car it rode in on, some water, but it wouldn't drink. But after a while it started moving around.
Kopecky called her husband, John, to figure out what to do. They chose to bring it back home to Plano.
"We decided not to call animal control because we thought they might put the cat down," John Kopecky, 31, said. "We put the cat in a box and took it home. We'll check to see if it has a microchip, or try to give it away."
Monica couldn't bear the alternative.
"I was very afraid of the cat being euthanized," she said. "I can't even go to the pound without crying."
The couple doesn't want to keep the animal because they already have a dog, a cat and Monica just had a baby girl seven months ago.
Hanks, the technician who found the cat, has experience with this sort of thing.
"I've found a chipmunk before -- he didn't make it," he said. "And one time there was a squirrel in the drive shaft. But this is the first cat."
Still, he didn't charge extra for the labor.
"Cat removal is free on Thursdays."