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Feline the focus of attention

August 01, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

This cat is creating a lot of curiosity.

Mercedes, an 8-week-old kitten that ended up in an animal shelter in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle after a 220-mile ride from Chambersburg in the engine compartment of a Mercedes roadster, has become the star of television stations and newspapers, the shelter's director said Thursday.

Jim Albert, a Chambersburg businessman, was driving to Charleston, W.Va., on July 25 when he stopped in Chester, W.Va., to visit a friend.

The kitten, one of three born to a stray cat that Albert took in three months ago, was found scared but unharmed, crouched behind the left headlight of Albert's Mercedes.

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"She was 3 inches from the fan belt," he said.

Albert believes she rode the 220 miles in the same spot.

He left the kitten with the Hancock County Animal Shelter with a promise to return for it if it had not been adopted by today. He said Thursday that he now wants to wait until Monday to see if she gets adopted.

Meanwhile, shelter Director Debbie Aguilar said television stations from Steubenville, Ohio, and Weirton, W.Va., did stories about the kitten, as have two area newspapers. The story was picked up earlier by The Associated Press.

"A couple of people have called about her, but she's still here," said Aguilar, who named Mercedes after its ride in Albert's car. Mercedes is sharing shelter space with 70 other cats, she said.

Albert has been calling every day, she said.

"One way or the other, she'll be adopted."

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