A cat is counting its nine lives after spending two nights trapped in a car's engine bay.
Thankful pet cat 'Winter' was safely lifted out of the engine by a mechanic at Horsham Kia, in Victoria's Wimmera region, after the car's owner was alerted to the issue by her dog's strange behaviour.
Car owner Roady McKinnon said her dog Kip was the first to realise something was wrong, which prompted her to take the car to the mechanic.
"Monday morning I got up and we always let the dog in. She was very unsettled, wouldn't come in and was pacing," she said.
"I took her up to her bed, and she wouldn't settle; we let her out, and she went to the car.
"She was jumping all over the grill, up into the car, up into the tyre and barking."
Mrs McKinnon said she thought it might have been a snake who climbed into the engine bay to find a warm place to hide.
From Sunday night, when Mrs McKinnon suspects the cat climbed in, until Wednesday morning Mrs McKinnon drove the car around Horsham, oblivious of the trapped cat.
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Needing to head to Ballarat and heeding the strange behaviour of Kip, Mrs McKinnon took the car to Horsham Kia, where the mechanics made the find.
Winter ended up belonging to Mrs McKinnon's neighbours, who had been looking for the lost cat for two days.
Horsham Kia mechanic Tim Barnett pulled Winter from the car.
"She came in and saw me at the dealership here. I came out the front and lifted the bonnet," he said.
"The cat was curled up in the engine bay next to the airbox; it had found a little hidey-hole there.
"It was happy and healthy, but trembling like a leaf. There was no hissing, no scratching - I think it was just glad to be out of there."
A team member from Horsham Kia and Mrs McKinnon drove the cat back home after making sure it was healthy.
Mrs McKinnon said she was relieved to be able to return the cat to its owners.
"I was relieved the cat was alright, and so surprised the cat was there," she said.
"So glad I had something done about it. If it had not been for Kip I may not have taken it in to get looked at."