September 25, 2018 06:42 PM
(ABC 6 News) -- A family recently returned to Rochester this week after a trip to North Dakota … only to find out they weren’t traveling alone.
Unbeknownst to them, a hitchhiker was hanging on for dear life under the hood of their truck.
The face this passenger made it out safe and sound is paw-sitively a miracle.
“We heard a noise and it sounded like a cat. My wife heard it and she says ‘Mike, there's a cat in the garage’,” said Mike Dukart as he recounted this weekend’s event.
Mike and his wife, Marilyn, don’t have cats. So Mike searched their entire garage trying to find out where the meowing was coming from.
“Then my wife started telling me a story,” he said. “She had just got back from North Dakota and it's like a 10-hour drive and she said ‘I was at my aunt's last night and all of these kittens were all over your truck’.”
That gave Mike an idea.
“I just opened up the hood of my truck,” he said. “And when I opened up the hood the first thing I did was looked in and this cat was sitting right here in this little open area - right where it could have been an old battery.”
Inside the hood of his truck was a 10-month-old kitten. The couple named him Dakota.
“We didn't know we had any passengers other than the six of us that were in the truck,” said Marilyn.
Marilyn left her aunts farm at around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. She arrived home in Rochester at 8 p.m. on Sunday.
“We never heard it [Dakota],” she said. “We stopped to get gas at different places. We also stopped to get lunch and we stopped a little bit in Fargo.”
“It was almost 24 hours it [Dakota] stayed in that compartment,” Mike said. “You’re going 80 miles an hour in North Dakota -- or 75, you know that speed limit -- and that wind is coming in and yeah I am just amazed … it [Dakota] was very traumatized though.”
But Dakota has since warmed up. He is now eating, playing and enjoying his stay in another state.
“[Dakota] It used a few of its nine lives that's for sure,” said Mike. “I can't believe that it made the trip in a vehicle like that. That’s a pretty crazy deal.”
Dakota has already been adopted. A Law Enforcement officer in the Twin Cities picked him up this afternoon. The officer has children and other cats for Dakota to play with.
Created: September 25, 2018 06:42 PM
Copyright 2018 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company