CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — Kanawha County Courthouse staff along with others rescued a cat in the courthouse parking garage in downtown Charleston on Tuesday around 11 a.m.

According to a volunteer with PigPig of St. Albans, a local online personality devoted to animal rescue, the cat was hiding in a car engine on the fourth floor of the Judicial Annex parking garage.

The PigPig volunteer said a woman from Marmet, West Virginia, heard meowing as she was getting out of her car in the parking garage. Rescuers think she may have traveled all the way from Marmet to the courthouse without knowing the cat was riding along in the engine.

The Marmet woman and other witnesses also saw the cat, who appeared “scared to death,” running out from underneath her car and up into another vehicle.

The PigPig volunteer said that he, along with some courthouse staff and a Kanawha County Deputy Sheriff, assisted in the rescue. He says the little cat put up a fight, giving one rescuer a bloody bite wound on her finger.

Diana Lucas with Dream Away Cat Rescue, who helped in the situation, described the scene as a “team effort.”

“Megan McNeely is actually the one who finally grabbed him,” Lucas said. “She was with him all morning. We were both under a Hummer in our work clothes. I was at the back and could see him, and she and a young man who we don’t know were all under it. I was giving directions as to where he was and what to do. We had a deputy and a coworker standing at the front of the vehicle.”

When the PigPig volunteer returned to help during his lunch break around 12 p.m., rescuers had just gotten the cat out and were coming back into the courthouse.

“I was going to bring [a] jack back when I went on lunch to jack up [the] car and get him, but he ran out in the meantime to an SUV, and they reached under [the] SUV and got him,” the volunteer said.

The cat was cared for by Dream Away Cat Rescue (DACR), a local animal organization in Charleston. DACR’s website says they provide services such as cat rescue, checkups, and finding a forever home.

Dream Away Cat Rescue found the cat a loving home through a coworker’s grandmother. Lucas wrote a note thanking the woman for taking in the cat, who has been named Cherokee.

“Thank you for taking our garage kitten. We have been calling him Cherokee because he was under a Jeep Cherokee. DACR — Dream Away Cat Rescue will sponsor his vetting.”

A note written by Diana Lucas with Deam Away Cat Rescue
Cherokee the cat sleeps peacefully in his crate while waiting to be transported to his forever home. (Photo courtesy of Diana Lucas)

Lucas said the entire experience was a reminder of how many locals truly care about the well-being of furry friends. “Lots of animal lovers in our county offices,” Lucas reflected.