Two bus drivers for Westlake (Ohio) City Schools were able to help save the life of a cat who was severely injured from getting stuck in a school bus engine on Nov. 12, and another driver gave her a permanent home.

Denise Wering was driving her bus route that morning when Marge Laskowski, another driver, radioed for her to check the back of her bus, according to a Westlake City Schools press release. When the drivers pulled over, they found a tail and a paw sticking out of the engine in the back of the bus, and discovered the 1-year-old, female cat was still alive, with its right front leg and the back of its neck stuck in the serpentine belt.

The Westlake City Schools transportation department called an animal control officer for help. The officer was able to free the cat from the engine and brought it to the Westlake Animal Hospital.

Megan Hoffman, a registered veterinary technician at the animal hospital, said the cat had a broken leg and she was able to stabilize her and amputate the broken leg. An ultrasound also revealed that the cat was pregnant with four kittens.

The drivers named the cat Margie, after the driver who found her.

Driver Leah Vandersluis said in the press release from the district that the drivers believe that Margie crawled into the engine in the transportation department parking lot and that she fell into the serpentine belt at some point during the ride.

The next day, Hoffman took Margie home to help her recover and deliver her kittens. However, due to the trauma, Margie lost her kittens on Nov. 18. Hoffman said in the release that Margie is more comfortable now and her recovery is going well, but they also discovered she has a broken tail that will need to be amputated.

Margie recently found a permanent home with bus driver Leah Vandersluis. Photo by Westlake Animal Hospital.

Margie recently found a permanent home with bus driver Leah Vandersluis. Photo by Westlake Animal Hospital.

Margie’s care has already cost the Westlake Animal Hospital about $1,800. The tail amputation and additional care will likely run between $600 and $800. The hospital is accepting contributions to its Good Samaritan fund to support Margie.

The transportation department has already collected more than $300 to donate to the fund for Margie.

Hoffman has been keeping the transportation department updated on Margie through text messages and invitations to visit Margie when she comes to the veterinary hospital.

On Monday, Westlake City Schools told SBF that Margie has found a permanent home with bus driver Leah Vandersluis.

A record of Margie’s progress can be found on the Westlake Animal Hospital’s Facebook page.

About the author
Nicole Schlosser

Nicole Schlosser

Former Executive Editor

Nicole was an editor and writer for School Bus Fleet. She previously worked as an editor and writer for Metro Magazine, School Bus Fleet's sister publication.

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