Strange carfellows

These odd pairings have drivers doing a double take

David Matthews / March 02, 2018
David Matthews

You’ve cat to be kitten me

A pet owner in Sandy, Ore., was surprised to get a phone call from the police in January inquiring about the well-being of his cat.

Which cat, he wondered. He has three.

Police said they were most interested in the one that was recently filmed riding around a Taco Bell parking lot on the hood of a car.

That would be Pixie, co-pilot and mascot of Jesse’s Roadside Rescue.

Owner Jesse Dorsett often brings his cats along with him on calls. They enjoy riding in the car and sometimes help to calm people who have had accidents. The company even features a cat in its logo.

Dorsett explained to police that in their off-hours, the cats love riding on the hood of his Volvo SUV, peering into the grass at the edges of parking lots in search of prey.

Each cat wears a leash while Dorsett drives them around at 5 mph. When they spot something interesting and hop off, Dorsett parks, grabs the leash, and walks the cat until it’s time to leave.

Dorsett said his felines have car-surfed hundreds of times in the last five years and have never been hurt.

Apparently another Sandy resident spotted one of these recent team-building exercises and shared a video with police out of concern. But with no evidence that Pixie was injured or suffering any distress, and no state laws prohibiting cats from riding on moving vehicles, no charges were filed.

Bear with me

Early-morning drivers in Alberta, Canada, may have thought they were still dreaming when they spotted a bear getting ice cream from a Dairy Queen drive-thru.

Video from that cold January morning shows a Kodiak bear leaning out of the driver’s side window of a truck and being hand-fed ice cream by the restaurant’s owner.

Alarming as this sounds, the bear’s trainer, Serena Bos, insists that no one was at risk.

Berkley is a one-year-old bear that was rescued by a local wildlife facility. Bos said Berkley is well-trained and was chained during the exchange.

Berkley’s visit was filmed before the restaurant opened for the day as part of a social media campaign to teach the public about wildlife and conservation.

The point of this particular video was to highlight the importance of staying inside a vehicle when a bear is on the side of the road because they have an excellent sense of smell.

Bos said the facility was trying to think outside the box in order to grab people’s attention, but critics believe that videos like this are harmful because they show the bear eating foods that are not part of its natural diet.

Perhaps both the trainer and the critics are missing the obvious lesson here. If you see a hungry bear on the side of the road, don’t worry about its snack preferences. Keep driving!

Bumper sticker

When it comes to pickup trucks, police officers in Texas have seen every make, model and accessory under the sun.

So when a sheriff’s deputy pulled over a Silverado in December for a minor violation on a state highway, he was surprised to find some unique décor on the rear bumper: a hot dog.

The hot dog looked real. It even had toppings. And just above it was a small handwritten sign taped to the tail gate that read “Free Hot Dog!”

The deputy was intrigued and asked if the hot dog was glued to the bumper.

The driver explained that he had spent the day in Waco and had hot dogs for lunch. He set one on the bumper and forgot about it, then continued running some errands.

Several passersby asked about the hot dog, and the driver thought it would be funny to tape up a “Free Hot Dog” sign and continue his day.

He could hardly believe that his leftover lunch was still hanging on 120 miles later.

The deputy decided that the traveling meat was clear evidence that the man must be a cautious driver, so he let him off with only a verbal warning and thanked him for the laughs.

The driver then wondered aloud, “Maybe I should drive around with a hot dog on my bumper all the time so I don’t get any tickets!”

About the Author

Matthews has been chronicling the unexpectedly humorous side of transportation news since 2000. The stories are all true.

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