Black cats and luck rarely go hand in hand, but one such feline arguably could not have been more fortunate on Monday morning when a motorist called police after someone tossed it out of a car on the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge.
"We believe when the people threw him out of the car, they were aiming for the water, but they missed and he hit the concrete barrier," said Chesapeake Feline Association President Dawn Cowhey.
When word of the discarded cat reached maintenance workers with the Maryland Transportation Authority, they sprang into action.
MDTA police officers shut down the bridge, and the workers began searching the length of it before spotting the nine-week-old kitten at the base of the wall in what's called a drainage scupper.
"I saw something black like a kitten so I said, 'Whoa! Stop! Right there! There is it!" said Clarence Jackson, an MDTA maintenance technician.
"We grabbed it. It got loose. Bit a couple of people, and we chased it around the bridge,” added Darrin Hoiland, “He went back in the scupper again, grabbed him again and didn't let him go."
The workers then turned the cat over to a nearby rescue in Perryville where Cowhey assessed its injuries.
"I could see outside injuries and I knew he was in pain," said Cowhey, "It's so sad to even think about this happening to a poor life. It really truly is, and there are resources out there."
Tragically, it appears what happened to this cat is not unusual along this bridge.
"No. This happens a lot," said Hoiland.
"Almost every day," added Jackson, "Just about every day. Same thing. Over and over."
In fact, just two months ago, MDTA police rescued a tabby kitten from the bridge after another unsuccessful toss.
They named it "Hatem", and the latest rescued cat will now be known as "Thomas J." after both survived attempts to throw their lives away rather than giving them up for adoption.
"We will help these people. They just need to reach out to us,” said Cowhey, “Please don't discard a life. Please come and we will help. We will find a solution."
If you're interested in adopting Thomas J., you can go to the rescue's website, chesapeakefelineassociation.org to fill out an application.
Hatem, on the other hand, is no longer available after her foster home decided to adopt her.