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Kitten’s rescue prompts Melbourne officials to stop tunnel traffic

There are many good reasons to stop traffic and cause a backlog of cars, but few as good as rescuing a small kitten from a hideous fate involving tires, tar and four-wheel drive.

This heart-stopping scenario actually took place last week in Melbourne, Australia. Somehow, a sweet ginger kitten ended up dodging traffic in Melbourne’s busy Burnley Tunnel.

Surveillance video shows the kitten mewling in terror on the side of the road as cars whiz by. The Herald Sun notes that drivers also witnessed the fortunate feline dodging through fast-moving vehicles in an attempt to move to safer ground. Safer ground, of course, being a relative concept when you’re a kitten trapped in a tunnel full of speeding cars.

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Authorities received a call from a concerned commuter before 7 p.m. but tunnel cameras picked up nothing at the time.

It wasn’t until 11:30 p.m. that a driver pulled over to rescue the cat. The poor little guy immediately raced underneath the stopped car – the first oasis of safety he’d likely seen in hours.

A safety crew rushed to the scene and closed off two lanes of traffic. They finally managed to convince the whiskered creature, who they affectionately named “Dodge” in honour of his unparalleled ability to whisk through car tires and survive, to emerge from his makeshift shelter.

CityLink spokesperson Selby-Lynn Nicholas gave the paper an account of what happened next. “They gave it a bit of a cuddle and took it to the control, where the guys on call gave it some old roast beef from the staff fridge and called the Lost Dogs' Home," she said in a statement that caused approximately 96 per cent of the people who just read that sentence to search for the nearest kitten to hug. Or maybe just 0.001 per cent (me).

Dodge is doing alright, Nicholas adds, and if he’s not claimed by the weekend, the shelter will put him up for adoption. Although it’s probably not a great idea to return him to the individual who facilitated this Great Tunnel Adventure in the first place.

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And if someone dumped him there on purpose, may they be eternally tormented by the claws of a thousand angry cats.

Not reported: The number of lives Dodge still has left. Because according to the Official Cat Encyclopedia, tunnel-dodging counts for at least four or five.

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