Kitten Rescue Clickbait

June 8, 2015 • 2:34 pm

by Grania

Reader Mark sent Jerry this sweet story about a kitten that had to be rescued from a Tesla Model S by a team of helpful humans.


What can we learn from this?

  • Kittens have no shame when it comes to inconveniencing humans.
  • Kittens may have reasonably good taste in cars.
  • Kittens are adorably cute, especially when they are doing their best Help! Help! impression.


62 thoughts on “Kitten Rescue Clickbait

  1. Awww… Poor, cute little kitty!

    Here’s some interactive shelter kitty clickbait: I’m hoping for the home version to come out, soon, for my cats.

      1. You’re most welcome! I’m hoping the kickstarter campaign succeeds. I’ve 11 cats and a lizard who thinks he’s the 12th. I’d love to have the home version of that system, to talk to them and play with them when I’m away.

        Maybe even PCC would consider getting a cat of his own, again, if he had this to stay connected during his travels. What do you think?

        Plus, you just gotta love the way the industrial size version, used at animal shelters, allows hospitalized kids to play with kittehs…

  2. Not entirely off-topic…if I may engage in a bit of <ahtm /> EVangelism…

    …electric vehicles aren’t yet for everybody, but they are for many people who would otherwise dismiss them without a second thought. You can (as my parents just did) buy a mint-condition 2013 Nissan Leaf for $13,000 cash on the barrelhead. If you don’t live in a sprawling metropolis such that you need to drive more than ~80 miles in a single day, it’s perfect; every evening you plug it in when you get home, and the next morning you start the day with a full “tank,” and never ever again have to go to a gas station, get an oil change, or really do anything other than get the tires rotated every few years or several thousand miles.

    Also well worth considering is the Chevy Volt, which is a similar plug-in electric vehicle for the first roughly 40 miles (enough for 80%+ of daily driving for 80% of Americans), after which it switches over to a gasoline engine good for another few hundred miles in the tank. It’s a bit, but not much, pricier than the Leaf.

    And the next generation of EVs coming out in the next year or three should have double the ~100 mile range of the current generation.

    …and, of course, if you’ve got the dosh, Tesla will be more than happy to sell you the car of the future today….



    1. Verily, I say unto you, go buy an electric verhicle, for it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a roaring V8 to enter the kingdom of God.

      1. You might be surprised, actually…my 1964 1/2 Mustang is going to have the proverbial roaring V8; a 347 cu. in. (5.7 liter; a stroked 302) with high compression, a very aggressive camshaft, forged rotating assembly, and the like. (In fact, they should be close to finishing the build and shipping it “any day now.”)

        But…once the conventional part of the renovation / restoration is done, we’re going to replace the front axle with something off of a 4WD or AWD or FWD vehicle, and attach an high-powered electric motor to the input shaft on it, and load up a few hundred pounds of high-capacity batteries in the trunk.

        The end result is going to be not unlike a Chevy Volt, with an all-electric range somewhere around 30 – 50 miles, depending on which battery we finally settle on. Most of the time, it’ll be an electric vehicle. And the rest of the time, any time the gasoline engine is under load, the electric motor will be taking even more of the load, up to its limits; acceleration from a light will be almost entirely electric, with cruising either mostly gasoline or, if the battery is nearly empty, a bit of regenerative braking from the electric motor to top off the batteries for the next start from a stop.

        All-electric performance should easily but not hugely beat the car when it first left the factory with a 260 cu. in. V8. With both systems going…it’s going to be in the same league as a Tesla P85D….


        1. When I was 16 I visited the USA and my 2nd cousins showed my brother and me some “good ol’ fashioned California street racing” with their Ford Mustang’s. American muscle cars have been my guilty pleasure ever since. As a European – that is: coming from the continent of right honourable gentlemen, sophistication and moderation – I’m required to say that muscle cars are a bit vulgar. But actually they make me drool and I’d love to own one.

              1. You’re welcome!

                …and, if you’ve got the cash, they’d be more than happy to build something similar for you….


      2. Well that suits me, since I don’t want to go near Godland, ever. But I’m not into V8’s, would a twin-cam four with rally cams and Weber 40DCOE’s do the trick, do you think?

        Electricity is for domestic appliances 😉

        1. A 1300cc in line 4 Hayabusa engine, valves, valve springs, pistons and rods suitably upgraded to deal with up to 12 lbs of boost from a dial-adjust-your-boost turbo. Forget the exhaust, a dump pipe will do fine.

            1. Definitely fun, but with that you have to rebuild your engine every 1/4 mile or so. With mine you can take it on a road trip, stop by a drag strip, make a few minor adjustments and then run the 1/4 in the sixes. Then stop by the Maxxton Mile and hit 250 + mph in the standing mile. Then road trip back home. And get 45-50 mpg to boot!

              1. Good points…save for one rather unfortunate detail.

                On Phoenix roads, at least, a majority of the drivers consider it their civic duty to aim squarely at anything on the roads with fewer than four wheels….

                (And, of course, top fuel dragsters are running in the threes these days and mid-300 MPH range in the standing quarter mile. Not that I’ll ever sit in the cockpit of one, let alone when the engine is running….)

                Because it’s so unusual, it’s hard to guess what the performance of my Mustang is going to be like when all is said and done. The V8 is always going to be traction-limited, almost certainly even in third gear and likely even in fourth gear. The 235/60R15s in the rear are as big as will physically fit without cutting tubs into the trunk space, and that level of modification (body work, axle mods, beefier transmission, new wheels, more) is more than I’m contemplating for the foreseeable future.

                But…making it all-wheel drive with instant-torque electric in the front…that should do a lot more for performance than any modifications to the rear could even in principle. Initially, the electric setup will be a direct single-speed drive with a reduction gear that will put the average torque over the peak torque of the original 260 V8, and a possible upgrade there could be a two-speed overdrive unit like one from Gear Vendors that would make the front traction limited, too, up to about 60 MPH.

                I’m sure it’ll never run in the sixes, but definitely the elevens, probably the tens, and the nines will maybe perhaps be attainable. Kinda scary, considering that’s basically as fast as anything to ever come off an assembly line….


              2. 11’s for a car is very good, 9’s for a car is getting extremely serious. And takes a good deal of modification unless you’re starting with a car in the 6 figure $ range to start with. But, my favorite toy costs a mere $12K to $13K brand new and will run in the 9’s right out of the crate. Or do a gainer from a standing start, just depends on your skill.

                A good all wheel drive system is quite the good thing for applying more power in a useful way to the surface of the road. But that sounds like an expensive mod. Basic 4 wheel drive, not so bad, but something more along the lines of a modern all-wheel-drive system on a performance car sounds pricey and involved. Are you doing traction control and all that that entails?

                Like this? That would be very cool. Select Lauch Mode, and 3 . . 2 . . 1 . .

                Shorter, your Mustang sounds pretty damn awesome, and with augmenting the engine with electric and applying all that with all-wheel-drive will make it a real beast off the line.

              3. Nothing so fancy or extensive as Block’s car, though there’ll certainly be echoes of the same.

                The ICE engine is a custom build based on this:


                but with a forged rotating assembly, higher compression, a very aggressive cam, and we’ll be putting a Holley throttle-body EFI system on in place of the carburetor. That’s going into a T-5z transmission (whose shipping notice I just got!), and into a Strange 9″ rear with a TrueTrac differential and 3.89:1 gear.

                The front will be an entirely separate system, with an axle yet to be determined and an HPEVS AC-35×2 motor:


                and powered by a few hundred pounds of batteries, yet to be determined but likely a custom ~20 kWh build from here:


                The electric system will pretty much be a straight-up electric conversion, similar to what this complete package entails:


                with the difference being that it’ll be powering a front axle and the internal combusion system will remain in place.

                A bunch of the magic will actually happen with the help of the Holley EFI system. It has a built-in throttle position sensor. If the EFI system has power but the engine isn’t turning over (zero RPM read from the TFI distributor’s crank position sensor), it doesn’t send any fuel to the injectors nor spark to the plugs. But it still reports the throttle position on the CAN bus, and we’ll feed that to the electric motor’s controller for electric-only driving (with the transmission in neutral, of course). And, for hybrid mode, the EFI system will also report vacuum, and that then becomes the input for the electric motor’s controller; the higher the load on the ICE engine, the more electricity goes to the electric motor. Engine braking gets translated into electric motor regenerative braking. And, I should be able to do some intelligent mapping of battery charge and the like such that, if the batteries are close to empty, cruising engine load causes just enough regen for the electric motor to put a bit of charge back in the batteries so acceleration can still be primarily electric.

                There aren’t any plans for any sort of traction control at this point other than the old-fashioned kind: me putting in some quality time on an empty parking lot or the like, figuring out how and how not to break the tires loose from the pavement. First with the traditional ICE motor (I’ve never owned anything remotely this high performance), and then again with the electric system to both learn how it drives and to fine-tune throttle position maps. Lots and lots of time driving fast and twisty in an empty parking lot (or wherever). Aw, shucks.

                It really is an exciting project, and I can’t wait to get the car on the road! First up, of course, is just the ICE drivetrain…Jeff is almost done with the paint, the transmission will arrive this week, the rear’s been there for a couple weeks, and the engine could ship any time in the next week or two. After the conventional part of the Mustang is done, the ’68 VW Westfalia Campmobile needs a very little bit of body work and then full paint, and I’ll strip the interior in preparation for building new furniture to go in its place. After the Camper is back on the road with a bare interior and clean exterior, the Mustang will get the electric system. And, possibly, after the Mustang gets its electric system, the Camper might get a similar (but much tamer…half the motor and perhaps half the battery) electric system of its own.


              4. That does sound like a great project Ben. As meticulous as you appear to be I’d bet the finished project will be very nicely done indeed. I might poke you for updates now and then. And maybe some pictures some time!

          1. The Dats 1200 had a remarkably light body (a friend of mine used to hillclimb one when new). But I’ll bet that electric one doesn’t *sound* right.

            Besides, drag racing doesn’t really interest me unless it’s being done by things like mobility scooters or furniture.

            My enthusiasm is directed towards special stage rallying, preferably on loose gravel**. And the classic rally car of the two-wheel-drive era was the Ford Escort, and the sound of a works Escort on a forest stage with the sound echoing back off the trees can’t be matched by anything else. (The Escort is still the weapon of choice in classic rallying). The proviso is that it must be non-turbo (a turbo ruins the sound) and in a mature pine forest – the tall straight parallel trunks have unique acoustic properties. I can’t find a video of an Escort in a proper pine forest (Youtube doesn’t have everything after all!) but the first and last cars in this vid are halfway there, or rather the trees are.

            (**As a spectator. I drove in a couple of rallies when I was younger, but neither I nor my car are nearly as fast as those guys).

            1. I’ve always liked the mid 2000’s STIs. I once had an opportunity to drive a laundry list of cars through very fun mountain roads, paved, extensively over a period of several months.

              RSX-R, MR-2, STI, Evo, Miata, Celica GT, Supra, Maxima and some bigger stuff like an Infiniti FX-45 (’03), a Charger RT (08) and more.

              It was all fun because the roads were fantastic. But ranking the cars, there were clear winners. The STI, an 04 or 05, was easily the winner. Without even trying I could go 10 mph (16 kph) or more around a given turn. All due to the suspension and traction control.

              Some surprises, at least to me. The Toyota MR-2 Sypyder. This one was a 2004. It had nothing like active suspension control, traction control and it was rear wheel drive. And yet it was nearly as fast, and felt nearly as good (on rails) as the STI. Clearly 2nd, well above all but the STI.

              The 2003 Infiniti FX45 really surprised me. I loved that car. Couldn’t really compete with the smaller cars on those roads, but was surprisingly good for a car that size.

              A negative big surprise was the RSX-R. Very nice in general, but not the contender I thought it might be for that kind of driving.

              I’d purely love to due some rally driving.

              1. Well the MR2 is mid-engined and well-balanced. Very good on a loose surface too. Of course 4-WD has so much advantage on the loose that even a large barge like the Audi Quattro could win rallies until more nimble 4WD’s came along.

                I must admit I haven’t had the opportunity of driving most of the cars on your list. Probably the best-balanced, best-handling car I’ve ever driven was a Lotus Elan. That was a joy to drive, responsive and absolutely predictable.

                But to me the charm of the Escort is in what it doesn’t have – ABS brakes, traction control, electronic stability control, power steer… What it does have is good balance and handling (not quite Elan class though) such that sideways is easy to control and fun. And it’s not always slower than the 4WD’s …

              2. RE Paddon and the 40 year old Escort, wow. I’ve always enjoyed performances like that. Besides demonstrating how older technology is not necessarily nearly so outmatched by newer technology as people often suppose, it also demonstrates how much a part of the equation the skill of the operator is.

                The Elan is a very nice ride. Didn’t get to drive one on those mountain roads, but I have had a brief ride in one. A British man who deals in sports cars, vintage European mostly but some modern and some actual race cars, has his business next door to my office. He always has some very nice cars. He moves a lot of Elans. Probably more Elans than any other single type.

  3. The completely enclosed bottom of the Tesla (and likely other EVs) could prove to be a well known hiding place for critters like kittehs, racoons, nesting birds, etc.
    I can hear it now: ‘I’ve had it with these m*therf*ucking snakes on this m*therf*cking Tesla!’

    1. Interesting note: Did you know opossums eat snakes? They even eat venomous ones! Opossums are immune to snake venom! And, if you feed them well, they’re pretty cute, too — at least, when they’re kitten size. Their fur feels more wirey, kind of like a terrier.

  4. I can see that the enclosed bottoms of EVs’ like the Tesla will become a trap for critters like kittehs, racoon families, nesting birds, etc.
    I can hear it now: ‘I’ve had it with these m*therf*cking snakes in my m*therf*cking Tesla!’

    1. If I’m going to get drunk, it will be on the power of Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand, thank you very much.
      In my defence, Jerry sent me an email going: POST THIS! 😛

        1. Yes. I think Stephen Fry called it “sheer rhetorical brilliance”.

          It happened only because the national Irish TV broadcaster RTE had just paid out a group of conservative Catholic advocates €85,000.00 to head off being sued by the butthurt vocal opponents of same-sex marriage who took offence at being labelled collectively (but without being named) as homophobic by Panti Bliss.

          After the victory of the Yes vote a couple of weeks ago some quick-witted Irish commentator quipped that it was probably the best €85k ever spent by RTE.

            1. I think it’s all rather brilliant. Never heard of Panti before this. Now, I’ll have to watch more of her videos. Thank you, both, for introducing us to her.

              Might homophobia be a deeply, subconconsciously twisted misogyny aimed at men who dare to align themselves with “the weaker sex”, rather than claim the dominance gawd gave them?

              I say that, because I get the feeling Panti speaks for and defends us women, too, in a sort of reverberating way.

              1. I think you are on to something there, but I am not so sure that it is buried very deeply at all. Though there are no doubt various reasons for homophobia, it seems very evident that a significant reason has to do with how males have viewed women as inferior people throughout history in so many male dominated societies. Notice how so many criticisms of one male to another involve equating the criticized fault, the supposed weakness, with supposed feminine attributes.

              2. I hesitated to say this above, in the awesome car discussion, but comparing a “muscle car” and a “household appliance” also seems subtly or indirectly a form of gender descrimination. How many other ways have we woven this superior/inferior, as opposed to equal, concept into our thinking, reflecting it in our language, so that we transmit it even when we don’t mean to? It’s going to take a lot more brave and eloquent people like Panti to help us grow up.

              3. I agree that such terms and their common usages are undoubtedly derived from long established gender discrimination habits.

                But I don’t think such terms necessarily have to be suggestive of gender discrimination. For example, Muscle Car is pretty accurately descriptive, and physical strength is not accurately characterized as a male only attribute. That underlying point of view, that physical strength equates to manliness, is what needs to be changed. It is changing, but there is certainly a ways to go yet. But there is noticable change even from when I was a young adult.

                I do realize that as a tactic to achieve change that striving to eliminate terms freighted with gender descrimination can be helpful, and just clearly the right thing to do.

                I am very aware of these things lately because I am raising a daughter and I have been doing my best to not allow her to be pigeon holed by any of the traditionally female roles, values, expectations that are still built into our society at every level, so ingrained and ubiquitous that from the moment of birth it starts. Such things are absolutely rampant in elementary school. I have also encouraged her to be scornful of any attempt, institutional or personal, to so pigeon hole her. So far she is delightfully disrespectful of any such attempts. Though ideally, I’d wish that she never even noticed them. But that is not yet possible.

              4. That is why I felt compelled to make the correction: It wasn’t “household appliance”, which strikes me a gender neutral. It was “domestic appliance.”

                Domestic: In the domicile or home, where women are to stay, barefoot and pregnant, when the muscled men go out to brave the world, too scary for timid little women.

                Cars don’t have muscles. It’s a euphemism. Appliances can be used in the domicile or at work or even on the road or while camping. “Powerful” could replace “muscle” in cars. “Small” could replace “domestic” or even “household” in appliances.

                After all, we don’t use “the N-word”, anymore — at least, not those who care.

              5. That’s a most excellent analysis. Homophobia is indeed born of the notion women are inferior. If more people understood that, it would be so much easier to unite and progress.

              6. Unfortunately, when women try to break out of the mold or progress in any way, the response is usually retaliation. From being shut out of a male dominated field after having to prove qualifications moreso than one’s male peers, to slut-shaming, and so on. That’s why the term “feminazi” was invented.

              7. Oh Jesus Christ on a bicycle. “Domestic appliance” includes refrigerators and TVs and video players and microwaves as well as stoves. You think single guys don’t have a fridge and a microwave? *I* have a fridge and a microwave (not that I’m single). It never occurred to me that my hot pie and cold beer were girly things.

                They’re driven by electricity which is by far the most suitable way to drive a fridge, or a computer or my sound system for that matter. I wasn’t being derogatory about them, only about electric cars. (I didn’t even mention ‘muscle cars’ and I don’t like the term, it implies lots of power and no refinement to me).

                IMO trying to see anything sexist in that comparison is really stretching it. I flatly refuse to police my thoughts to that cringingly PC level which doesn’t even make any sort of sense.

  5. I can attest to the fact that kittehs will choose to hide under the hood of even a rust bucket! It happened to us. The engine, or whatever, had to be partly dismantled, and no amount of coaxing would dislodge the feisty and unfriendly creature we now fondly look back on as Engine Cat. Eventually, I had to set a humane trap with food for the poor thing, as it was very hungry after days in there and enough was enough…. the Man in the Beige Hat had been deprived of the use of his car for a week! Once it was secure in the trap, that was not the end of the drama, as it escaped in the garage whilst being transferred to a pet carrier. Kittehs can climb vertically on concrete walls, that much we discovered! There was a happy ending after all, and Engine Cat became a ward of the local humane society.

  6. Of course, it could be a female, in which case, name her Lily. Because I like flowers. : )

  7. The Tesla is an amazing car and there is all kinds of info on it and the X model on You Tube. They will need to get the price down which is the idea with the new battery plant. Also, they have opposition politically which anyone could guess. How dare they not use gasoline engines and worse, sell the cars without dealerships that rip the consumers off as much as possible.

    Battery will replace the internal combustion engine in autos sooner or later. The hybrid is too complicated and not maintenance friendly.

    1. All electric battery-powered vehicles will replace the internal combustion engine, and sooner rather than later. But hybrids really are an improvement over the pure internal combustion configuration despite the superficial added complexity. All sorts of compromises are needed to get an internal combustion engine to function as desired; they’re really only happy running at a single rotational speed — and, even then, there’s still an awful lot of unrecoverable waste heat.

      With an hybrid design, you can optimize the ICE half for generating electricity from the hydrocarbon fuels, resulting in a significantly simpler design with potentially dramatically superior performance. Electric motors by their very nature are superb at converting electricity into mechanical energy and are already quite simple in nature.

      Of course, once batteries with adequate capacity are affordable, there’s no remaining advantage to retaining the ICE half. If your definition of, “affordable,” encompasses a Tesla, we’re there today. Or, if your definition of, “adequate,” is a maximum daily range of ~70 miles, you can get a mint-condition 2013 Nissan Leaf for $13,000 cash on the barrelhead, as my parents just did.

      The good news is that it won’t be all that long before the price premium of an electric vehicle with a range of over 200 miles on a charge is about what the price premium used to be for an automatic transmission over a standard…and that day will, effectively, mark the end of the ICE era for passenger vehicles.


      1. Ahm in Tex-ass, and you know what “they” kin pry from MY cold, dead hands, boys? That’d be mah Prius! She’s ten years old and countin’, and I ain’t givin’ her up fer nuthin’!

        1. Well, at ten years it’s still brand new. Another thirty or forty years and it might be time to start thinking about retiring her to pasture, maybe.


          1. That’s about right, pad’ner. I just can’t figure out how to keep her shiny and new lookin’, here in this Tex-ass sun and heat. Any help there?

    2. One thing the battery people have to solve first.

      Time to refuel a gas/diesel/hybrid: 5 minutes. Time to recharge a battery: ???

      1. That will come with development of graphene as capacitor. It will be extremely light weight, durable, reliable, fast charging, and eventually cheap. It will also provide a way to use up a lot of the excess carbon we’ve mined from below-ground, so that instead of burning it for (fossil fuel) energy, we’re using it to store and release solar, wind, and water energy.
        Graphene will also have structural usages, as it’s lighter weight and has stronger tensile strength than steel.
        And when we can start with CO2 as the carbon source for our graphene, we’ll not only use up carbon but free up more oxygen. I’m sure that will come in handy for something, like, maybe, space exploration.

        1. But can any capacitor have the same energy density as a battery (which stores its energy as chemical energy)? What’s its leak-down rate? And what happens if it gets shorted out, with virtually zero internal resistance?

          There’s also a practical side to charging time, which is the capacity of the mains supply. In all these comparisons, the joker in the pack is the incredible energy density of chemical energy, which comes pre-loaded as it were into every litre of liquid fuel that we can ‘load’ into the car as fast as we can pour it.

          Assume our comparison car has a 10-gallon / 40 litre tank. At 32MJ/L that’s 1280MJ per tankful, or 358 kWh (kilowatt-hours). Now consider the electric equivalent: with a domestic (sorry, household) supply of say 7kW – about what a stove uses – that’s about 50 hours to charge. You want faster? – rewire your house.

          Suppose we want to charge our electric car in 5 minutes (assuming any capacitor could stand it) that’s 4300 kW of power supply – about three four-coach suburban trains. So our industrial charging station is going to need serious grunt in the way of mains power supply.

          Neither scenario is impossible, but it suggests the convenience of quick refuelling that IC engines offer just won’t be approached by electric cars.

  8. Hey Grania, I also live in Ireland now, and I’d love to make more freethinking friends. Is there a way I could meet you and/or your heathen friends? You probably don’t want to give out your details here, but my email is freethinkingjew at gmail. 🙂 (By the way, fair play to your parents for spelling your name in a way the non-Irish can read.)

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