A kitten rescued by the RSPCA after spending a morning absconded in a car engine is now looking for a new home.

Twelve-week-old Ayrton, named after the iconic racing driver, was discovered under the bonnet of a car in Northycote Farm, Underhill Lane, Wolverhampton on 16 September.

Driver Wayne Rutter had pulled up to eat his lunch after driving about 10 miles around the area for work that morning, and heard a plaintive miaow.

The 50-year-old photocopier engineer said: “I couldn’t work out where the sound was coming from at first.

“I got out of the car and looked around, and thought I must have been hearing things. Then, as soon as I got back into the car, I heard it again and knew there was a cat somewhere – and an unhappy one at that.

“I finally twigged that the sound was coming from the front of the car, and sure enough, when I popped up the bonnet, there he was – looking at me with terrified eyes.

“It’s hard to know for sure where he hopped on, in theory it could have been anywhere on my morning’s route. As there had been heavy rains the night before, though, it seems likely it was at my home in Willenhall the night before, looking for a warm and dry refuge.”

Mr Rutter tried to rescue the male, tabby-and-white kitten but he kept escaping, then when he did manage to coax him out of his car he ran straight into another car engine, alongside. The RSPCA were called.

Animal collection officer Shaun Howden and Victoria Hurr, animal care assistant from the RSPCA’s Newbrook Farm Animal centre, assisted in the rescue. They then took the tiny feline, suffering from a few infections, to the centre to be cared for and nursed back to health. He had no microchip and no owner has been found for him so he is now looking for a new home.

Victoria said: “When we finally managed to free Ayrton he was clearly terrified and shaken.

“He is very shy little fellow and has had quite a difficult ordeal, so will need a quiet home with no young children.

“He has a playful side but only when he thinks you’re not looking! He will be able to live with other cats.

“I so hope we can find a loving home for him. We don’t know for sure where he came from but the signs are that he had been living as a stray and has not had much love in his short life.”

Anyone interested in rehoming Ayrton should call Newbrook on 0300 123 8585.

The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our Inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).