Nebraska State Trooper Greg Goltz figured the black SUV was having car trouble when he spotted it along Interstate 80.
Turned out the family inside had pulled over Saturday for another reason. They told Goltz they’d seen a kitten get tossed out of a moving vehicle in front of them, so they turned around to rescue it.
Goltz brought the kitten to an animal shelter in nearby Aurora.
Judy Hitzemann, director of the Aurora shelter, said the 8-week-old female feline was checked out by a veterinarian. The vet was taking X-rays, but the results weren’t back yet Monday morning. The kitten has abrasions and was missing fur on her head but otherwise seems fine.
Hitzemann said the kitty is feisty and adorable.
“She’s a doll,’’ Hitzemann said.
Once the kitten is healthy and gets spayed, she will be put up for adoption. The State Patrol posted the kitty rescue on Facebook and mentioned that she needed a home. The shelter has already received numerous calls from people wanting to take her home.
Pam Wiese, spokeswoman for the Nebraska Humane Society, said several pets have been tossed from cars in the Omaha area over the years and survived. She also said baby pigs have fallen out of trucks on highways in the state and lived to squeal about it.
In 2013, a 4-month-old orange tabby cat was tossed from a vehicle on the West Dodge Expressway in Omaha. The cat survived, with a few bumps and bruises, and was adopted through the Humane Society.
Goltz said he was glad he could help rescue the kitten this weekend.
He said that before he took the kitten from the family on the Interstate, he told a woman in the SUV that the cat should have a name.
She picked one on the spot: Tumbles.