Florida family chooses to save cat over car

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When a kitten crawled into the dash of her '95 Monte Carlo, Denise Williford-Neal said she'd do whatever it took to get him out. (Spada's Total Auto Repair/Facebook)

One Florida family was faced with a choice: save their car or save their cat.

Denise Williford-Neal of Vero Beach was picking up her newly adopted kitten, just 6 weeks old, earlier this month when he managed to climb into the dash of her '95 Monte Carlo. The family set out food and water to try to lure him out, but nothing worked.

After nearly a day of this, Williford-Neal became desperate and posted a call for help on Facebook, according to ABC affiliate WPBF 25 News. Volunteers started showing up.

When mechanic Ron Spada arrived, the dash had been partially dismantled, but the kitten was still far out of reach. Spada knew the family would not be able to save both the car and the cat.

"After assessing the situation I saw that the removal of the dash completely was necessary," Spada told ABC in an email. "The owner stated to me 'Do whatever you have to and save the kitten.'"

So Spada and another mechanic kept working for another hour and a half to get the kitten out. Once the dash was removed, the mechanics cut open the firewall little by little with a reciprocating saw.

When the little guy was finally pulled from the vehicle, he had been stuck for more than 20 hours.

"That I can replace," Williford-Neal told WPBF of her car. "You can't replace an animal."

People touched by the story continued to answer the call. A GoFundMe page to replace the car has already surpassed its $2,500 goal.

The kitten is doing well and has a name reminiscent of his ordeal: Monte, after the car.
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