LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — Clermont paramedic Bubba Pitzer took a knock to the head earlier in the day, so when he told co-workers he heard a truck meowing, they wondered if he was hurt worse than they’d thought.
“He said he heard a kitten meowing,” firefighter Luke Brear said. “We all chuckled, because he had hit his head earlier in the day, and we thought he may have hit it a little too hard.”
But then they heard it, too.
After a little investigation, firefighters found that a 7-week-old kitten had stowed away in the spare tire on the underside of firefighter Robert Lovvorn’s truck.
The kitten had held on during the man’s Wednesday commute from Orlando to Clermont.
Lovvorn, Brear, Pitzer and two other firefighters jumped into action and worked to rescue the kitten from under the truck.
It took about 30 minutes for them to rescue the tiny calico kitten, which they named Passon.
Passon is a term used by firefighters who “pass on” from one shift to the next, a release from the Clermont Fire Department said.
The men took the kitten into the fire station, where they gave her a bath and syringe-fed her some tuna fish and water.
The Animal League picked up the kitten at about 6:30 p.m. and took her to a foster home until she could be examined by a veterinarian to determine when the group can put her up for adoption.
“Not only are these first responders brave in the face of danger, but they also have a special place in their heart for animals,” Animal League spokeswoman Doreen Barker said. “We are honored to have helped with this situation, which could have had a different ending, had these first responders not taken the time to help this kitten.
“I think it is safe to say, Passon may have used up a few of her nine lives today.”