The kitten in the car engine bay

Sometimes a pet seems to choose its owner, rather than the other way round. And sometimes, fate seems to pull human and pet together in a big unsubtle scene stolen from a TV movie script. Take the story of Sophie the kitten, and her fate-intended owner, Robyn.

On a day three years ago, Robyn was at work when she heard a fuss in the car park outside involving a woman from the business next door. Robyn's colleague, Marion, went out to investigate, and re-entered the room soon after with a surprising armful: a tiny, rather sickly tabby kitten.

The kitten had been found sitting next to Marion's car and Marion recognised it as one of "hers": She had been feeding a stray cat with three kittens - but at her home, many kilometres away. 

Marion was certain the kitten had not been inside her car, and anyway she had locked it and left it in the car park four or five hours before. "The kitten had smudges of grease on her coat, so we could only assume she had been hiding in the engine bay," says Robyn. "It was incredible that such a tiny, sickly kitten hadn't fallen out in the traffic or been injured during the trip."

Even more miraculous was that Marion had "detoured" that morning, taking a friend to the airport and stopping for a walk at a park before coming to work. She had driven many kilometres over about three hours, with the kitten hanging on in the engine bay the whole time.

So now there was a rescue to complete. Robyn held on to the kitten while Marion raced out to get some food for it; luckily their boss is also a cat lover, so all work was allowed to be put on hold. The well-travelled kitten curled up on Robyn's lap and fell asleep - while Robyn fell in love (just as scripted).

Still, the kitten was barely four weeks old and they felt she needed to be with her mother a while longer, so Marion took her home that evening.

But Robyn, a long-time cat lover, had fallen hard. "Driving home, I think I had already made my decision, but any doubt was blown away when I realised it was 24 February - the same day I found Hillary and Sylvester 17 years before. If I was looking for a sign, that was a pretty big one!"

A week later, Sophie came to live with Robyn, and with good vet care the kitten become a beautiful, healthy grown-up cat. She's good pals with the fluffy brown boy next door, Milo - so maybe there's another TV movie to be made of her story...

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