So that's why the engine was purring!
Byline: Michael Marsh Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
THIS lucky cat has certainly used one of her nine lives - after surviving a journey trapped in a car engine.
Unknown to the driver, kitten Bella's leg became stuck in the car's fan belt and caused injuries so severe it had to be amputated.
The feline was found under the bonnet only after the motorist saw the red warning light flash on the dash board during a trip to Blyth beach.
Bella was rescued by the motorist and her friend, passers-by, police and head nurse at nearby St Clair Veterinary Centre, Natasha Banks.
Natasha says the cat is recovering well and will manage "just fine" on three legs.
She said: "A lady had gone out for a birthday drive with a friend. They had seen a red warning light come on in the car so parked at the beach to investigate.
"When they opened the bonnet they found a cat trapped and in great distress. It must have been a terrible shock for them.
"The lady and her friend worked to remove the headlight to free the cat and were helped by passers-by and PC Nicola Raisbeck.
"I drove to the scene and when I arrived it was clear that Bella's injuries were so severe, so I took her straight to the practice so my colleague Rory Thomson could assess her and give her pain relief."
The injuries were so horrific that there was no other option than to amputate the leg.
Bella was not microchipped but, with the help of lost and found websites, the vets managed to trace owner Zoe Anderson, of Percy Street in Blyth and tell her of the ordeal.
Zoe said: "Bella had never been out of the house before but somehow managed to escape. We were very worried about her and when she didn't return after a few hours we put her name online.
"When I received a call from the vets I was devastated to hear what had happened but was relieved she had at least been found."
Children Jamie, five, and Blake, three, are delighted to have their pet home but keep asking their mum to glue Bella's leg back one, Zoe said.
"She's on strict bed rest but is already trying to climb and catch flies. If it wasn't for the dedication and held we received from St Clair, the car owner and her friend, the PDSA and others, we would never have got her back so we are very grateful.
"She is now booked in to have a microchip fitted."
Bella with Jamie Anderson and Natasha Banks, head nurse at St Clair Veterinary Centre