We realize we're a little late to this delightful story, which was making the rounds late last week, but we hope it brightens your Monday nonetheless. The folks down at the Santa Cruz Animal Shelter are looking for the owners of an eight-month-old female tabby kitten who claimed a warm spot inside a van's engine compartment in Mill Valley and then rode all the way to Santa Cruz last Wednesday. The kitten survived the trip remarkably unscathed.

The driver, who was a Michigan man in his late 20s on a road trip, had slept overnight in a McDonald's parking lot in Mill Valley, where it's suspected the kitten climbed into the van's engine. The next morning the man drove straight from Mill Valley to Santa Cruz where he stopped for gas.

The kitten was wearing a studded leather collar and a blue bell, but she doesn't have identification tags or a microchip. Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter spokesman Todd Stosuy told the Santa Cruz Sentinel, "She's a really sweet cat."

Anyone with info about the cat should call the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter at 831-454-7200.

Here's hoping this kitty's remaining eight lives are a bit less adventurous than the first.

Video credit: Santa Cruz Sentinel

[Santa Cruz Sentinel, S.F. Chronicle]