CHP officer saves kitten off freeway and returns to adopt her

A California Highway Patrol officer who helped rescue a tiny, frightened kitten off a freeway has now adopted that cat as a part of his family.

On June 14, Officer Ryan Moore responded to a call of a kitten on Highway 1 in Monterey. 

Moore parked his patrol car on the side of the roadway and attempted to grab the kitten, but the animal made a run for it across highway lanes.

"The likelihood of staying out there and getting hit by a car or something like that was obviously pretty good," Moore said, adding, "Or someone else would have stopped and tried to get her, they would have caused a crash themselves or, god forbid, gotten hit while trying to get her." 

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So, in another attempt to save the animal, while also making sure the darting cat did not lead to an accident, he and other officers conducted a traffic break.

Once the traffic came to a stop, Moore reached for the kitten again.

He got close, but the scared animal managed to get away. This time, she jumped up into the wheel well of a nearby Toyota Prius that had stopped with the traffic break.

"My hand was just a foot away from grabbing her, then she ran up and behind the Prius engine," Officer Moore recounted. 

He could not access the cat so he called officials at SPCA Monterey County

Once on scene, an SPCA supervisor tried and was unsuccessful in reaching the animal. So he checked to ensure that the kitten was located in an area of the car that did not endanger her with the engine on.

And the Prius's driver, Tom Greeley, with the help of the CHP’s emergency sirens and escort, carefully drove to his nearby work parking lot.

There, without the loud highway traffic, SPCA supervisor Jacob Duarte was able to hear the kitten better and pinpoint her location. He then used a special camera to locate her. 

"And after removing a few car parts, Jacob scooped the kitten up and brought her to safety," the SPCA explained.    

SPCA Humane Investigations Supervisor Jacob Duarte retrieved a wayward, frightened kitten that had run into the wheel well of a vehicle.

Greeley said he was moved by the care everyone took. 

"It was a really heartwarming reinforcement of the good in society," Greeley told SPCA officials. "The CHP officers were so great, Jacob was amazing, and together we made a difference and saved this little kitten."

The kitten was brought to the SPCA, where animal rescue workers decided to name her "Chippy" in honor of Moore and the other CHP officers who saved her.  

"I couldn't just leave this little kitten out on the highway," Moore shared. "I needed to try to do everything I could to help her."

It's already a great story if it ended there, but there’s more, with the demonstration of heart and compassion going even further.

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SPCA officials said last week, Moore returned to the shelter to adopt Chippy. 

He came with his two children who were clearly smitten by the kitten.

"I personally thought it was meant to be," daughter Hadlee Moore said, noting that once she heard about her father’s rescue, she pressed him about adopting Chippy.

It took a little pressure, but Dad eventually agreed. 

"I was texting him and telling him that we needed to get the cat," Hadlee shared. "And now we're here," she said as her dad stood between his children holding the kitten close. 

California Highway Patrol Officer Ryan Moore with his children at SPCA Monterey County, where they adopted rescued kitten "Chippy."  (SPCA Monterey County )

The officer’s reunion and the children’s first meeting with the cat was a sweet moment. The kids looked adoringly at their newest family member, which Hadlee said had the full name of "Chippy the Freeway Cat."

When asked, "What do you think?" Hadlee, holding her new kitten, said, "She's beautiful."

For Dad, he's glad that Chippy's "tale" has a very happy ending. 

"I just thought it was the proper ending to the story. And she's super cute," the officer said. "It's just a great feel-good story, that I could help coordinate to help rescue her and actually adopt her, so it's really nice."