Cat in a box causes crash
A kitten on its way to being de-sexed nearly caused two car accidents on the same day.
Letitia Leonard was driving her daughter Alyciah Stammers, 3, and their 6-month-old kitten, Gypsy, from Picton to a veterinary clinic in Blenheim when the kitten pushed its way out of a cardboard box on the back seat and jumped on to the dashboard, causing Ms Leonard to swerve off the road about 8.30am yesterday.
"It was terrifying, absolutely terrifying," Ms Leonard said.
"She was out of the box and on to the dashboard in 10 seconds, it was quick, really quick.
"I thought we needed to stop, but there was nowhere in time. I was holding the steering wheel and trying to push her off.
"My hand wobbled and that's when I just lost control into a ditch."
The Ford Taurus stationwagon skidded about 70 metres, stopping part-way down a bank about 5m from a solid rock face just north of Tuamarina on State Highway 1.
A passer-by stopped to help Ms Leonard and her daughter. Police were soon on the scene.
Ms Leonard phoned her partner Gerald Stammers for a lift home, which was when Gypsy made her second escape of the day.
Ms Leonard was sitting on the back seat next to the cat when she saw its head pop out of the box.
"A guy who was helping us at the accident put her in the box, wrapped it in tape and she was put on the back seat.
"After about five minutes she had clawed a hole through the new box I couldn't believe it."
The kitten had been due to be desexed at a veterinary clinic in Blenheim at 9am, Ms Leonard said.
"We won't be taking her to the vet again until we get a proper cage with a metal lock on it."
No person or the kitten was hurt in either incident.
The Marlborough Express