The intervention of Marin’s driver saves a kitten on Highway 101
Callan Burkhart says she will never forget the Friday she ran to stop traffic from hitting a kitten on Highway 101 in Marin.
Burkhart said she was driving near Lucky Drive on October 22 when she saw a little cat “in the air” in the next lane.
“He landed on all fours like someone had thrown him around and spun him around,” she said.
Burkhart stopped in the emergency lane and ran down the shoulder. She was joined by another woman who had stopped and asked about the kitten.
While scouring the road in search of the animal, Burkhart said in horror he saw a large truck drive past where the kitten was.
“We thought he was dead,” Burkhart said.
Then she spotted the kitten in the middle of the road, with other drivers sneaking around it. Burkhart said she and the other woman waved the drivers over and retrieved the cat from the traffic lane.
Burkhart called a vet emergency line and was ordered to take the cat to Marin Humane, the animal welfare center in Novato.
Staff found him to be in good health, with an elevated heart rate and no broken bones, said Lisa Bloch, spokesperson for Marin Humane.
Bloch called out Burkhart for a new name for the cat. Burkhart chose the name “Lucky”, inspired by the site of the incident.
Marin Humane provides animal control services through a contract with the county. Bloch said incidents of intentional animal dumping on highways are not common in Marin.
“Dogs and cats sometimes find their way on a freeway when they are afraid,” she said. “We often receive reports of stray animals that people say may have been dumped, but it’s hard to prove that was the case.”
“Unfortunately, in other parts of the Bay Area there are known places for people leaving animals,” she said.
Bloch added: “We don’t want people to stop and exit on the freeway. Although we are happy that the kitten is doing well, we still want people to call CHP.
Burkhart said she has worked in animal rescue for much of her life, including with Marin Humane, No Boundaries Animal Rescue and Marin Friends of Ferals.
Additionally, having lived in Los Angeles for five years, she said she still watches for animals that get dumped on the freeway.
“Obviously. You don’t tell people to go for a run on the freeway,” she said, but added, “I always stop.”
“I was not going not to save this cat,” she said. “I stopped the traffic as safely as possible.”
Thanks to Burkhart, the cat will no longer be a stray cat. Bloch said the cat, which did not have a microchip, was detained for a week. Then he was adopted by an emergency dispatcher who took 911 calls about his near-disaster on Highway 101.