As colder weather takes hold in Japan, people are trying to pass along a little trend helpful for our felines friends called "neko-panpan" (猫バンバン), or "KnockKnockCats". The idea is that stray cats often search out warm or heated areas in cold weather, and this sometimes leads them to the dangerous predicament of getting stuck in car engines or tire areas. Essentially, it's a reminder for people to knock on the hood of their car and check to see if a cat might be in trouble before they start their car. One Japanese Twitter user, @muchbaron, engages in the thoughtful act, but even so, found this letter stuck in their car's windshield just as they started the car.

"Their might be a cat stuck in your engine. I heard it crying (meowing)."

Even though their initial cat-knock-knock yielded no results, @muchbaron was prompted by a kindhearted anonymous letter to check under the hood. Relying on the engine light and searching in the darkness, they heard a faint meow, which of course led to this little kitten who was having a hard time!


Source: @muchbaro

@muchbaro wasted no time, leaving the car behind to go call car maintenance staff from the Japan Automobile Federation. When staff showed up, they mentioned that in fact that situations like this with cats has been frequent in the past week. Fortunately after a little work, they were able to successfully free the cat. The little kitten was startled of course, and immediately fled to the grass. Hopefully with a calmer heart, though!


Source: @muchbaro


Source: @muchbaro

@muchbaro expressed thanks on Twitter to the anonymous tipster, saying "Thank you for contacting me. I was able to get the cat out without injury or incident!"


Source: @muchbaro

But of course, animals flocking to warm places in cold weather isn't limited to just kitties. Upon coming home and wanting to take a bath, @muchbaro noticed a sparrow comforting itself in the heat of an outdoor water heater! Maybe the bath will have to wait...


Source: @muchbaro

Lastly, Nissan has put out this helpful (and cute!) PSA about encouraging the CatKnockKnock trend, hoping to spread information to help prevent kitty accidents. It's subtitled in English, so take a look!

By - grape Japan editorial staff.