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Kitten rescued from wheel well of car stopped on Oakland freeway

A kitten halts traffic in Oakland after scurrying into a car's wheel well on Highway 580

A kitten that jumped into the wheel well of a car stopped in gridlock traffic on a busy Oakland freeway Monday ended up finding a new home after the witness offered to adopt it on the spot, officials said.

The scene unfolded about 8:45 a.m. when a motorist on Highway 580 spotted the kitten in the center divide near High Street. A driver attempted to scoop up the kitten but it instead pounced into the wheel well of a black Saab stopped nearby in rush-hour traffic.

That's when freeway service workers stepped in, said California Highway Patrol Officer Sean Wilkenfeld. 

"It blocked the fast lane for about 15 minutes," Wilkenfield said of the rescue. "The kitten wasn't injured." 

The service patrol workers wrapped a blanket around the collar-less kitten and were debating on which shelter to take it to when a witness offered to take it home. 

CHP officials were unsure how the kitten ended up on the highway. 

"It would be hard for a kitten to get on the freeway," Wilkenfeld said, adding that the area is not by a residential area.

The kitten's rescue comes shortly after a Chihuahua named Charm was rescued from a concrete divider on Interstate 680 in Walnut Creek and reunited with her family.

Wilkenfeld added that a fellow CHP officer is currently adopting a dog that wandered onto Highway 580 a few miles from where the kitten was found. 

CHP Officer John Fransen told The Times last week that it is not uncommon for officers to find dogs and kittens dumped along the center median. But sometimes, the officers are too late.

"They don't always have a fighting chance," Fransen said.

CHP officers have had to chase chickens, goats and even llamas off Bay Area highways.

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