Monthly Archives: May 2017

Rescued in a Jiffy (Lube)

As any driver knows, it can be challenging to find the words to describe that funky noise your car is making. Is it more of a clunk or a click? Low frequency or high? Constant or intermittent? Is it pinging or popping?

Or is it, perhaps, meowing?

When Khrystyna Kova of Wetaskiwin, Alberta, got back in her car last Wednesday morning after driving her daughter to school, she heard the unmistakable sound of a cat. And it seemed to be coming from somewhere inside the vehicle.

On the off chance that her car wasn’t haunted by a feline poltergeist, Khrystyna hastened to a nearby Jiffy Lube. Mechanics there popped the hood and eventually spied the source of the plaintive mewls – a small kitten, trapped, unbelievably, behind the engine. Yes, the very engine that had been powering up a Honda Civic just moments earlier.

At first, they couldn’t even get him out. Shop manager Blair Backman did his best to reach the tiny animal from beneath the car, but the space where the cat was trapped was too small for his arms.

Another customer, Tanya Marceau, overheard what was happening and came over to help. She had an asset, she assured them: skinny arms. While Blair called out directions from beneath the car, Tanya was able to reach in and nimbly work away at some wiring that had entangled the kitten. After 20 minutes, she finally pulled him out.

Thankfully, the kitten seems fine now, apart from a probably lasting distaste for the Indy 500. Happily, he also has a new home. Khrystyna suggested Tanya keep him, after noticing how effortlessly she comforted him. That suited Tanya just fine. And thanks to her new kitten’s new name, she’ll never forget where he came from.

“We named him Jiffy, because we saved his life at Jiffy Lube,” Khrystyna said in a news story. “That cat has nine lives… It’s a miracle.”

GreyKitten

Photo by Nick Sgambelluri/FreeImages.com

Tire Pressure

There’s nothing worse than getting a flat tire on Friday at 5:00.

Come to think of it, there are thousands of things that are worse: wasp stings, eczema, incarceration, halitosis, vandalism, corn smut, Milli Vanilli… and that’s just off the top of my head.

So let me rephrase it: A flat tire is a major inconvenience on a Friday at 5:00. Made even more so when you just got on the highway, you’re running late – and you happen to be quadriplegic.

Such was my husband’s dilemma a few days ago. But thanks to the kindness of strangers, he got through it a little less scathed. First, of course, we give a nod to the driver who alerted my husband to the flat tire in the first place, gesturing like mad to get his attention. The guy almost managed to communicate the problem before the on-ramp to the highway. Almost, but not quite.

My husband, of course, began to fret just a little bit, listening to the steady thump of a shredding tire as he crawled along the highway towards the nearest exit. Meanwhile, I called the nearest tire centre – Google helpfully informed me it was “CLOSING SOON!” – to let them know he was headed there.

The woman who answered the phone, Diana, was as compassionate as could be. “Oh no!” she commiserated. “We can put his spare tire on when he gets here, and that will get him home.” Our wheelchair van is secondhand; I wasn’t even confident it had a spare tire. “Now I’m going to cry!” Diana responded. (Spoiler: She didn’t cry. But she was seriously considering it.)

Luckily, my husband made his way to the tire centre before closing time. The workers were prepared to receive him, and one of them even knew where to find the spare tire in its secret hidden compartment made invisible by several magical enchantments.

They got the spare on. My husband was almost ready to set off for home (at the prescribed speed, a.k.a. a snail’s pace, with four-way flashers going). Just one more hold-up: They wouldn’t accept any money. Diana was insistent. “Absolutely not. I’m a hockey player!” she exclaimed.

We’re not sure what that means. Are hockey players extra-tough? Extra-sweet? Extra-resourceful? All of the above, probably.

We’re grateful for the good deed. Sometimes I don’t think people realize what a real difference they are making. You saved my husband in a pinch, Lady Diana.

SpareTire2

Our spare tire. So tiny and adorable.