When he reached his home in Tualatin, Ore., he heard the meowing again and grabbed a flashlight. Sure enough, he says, "the cat was up underneath in the spare tire spot."
Daughter Jenna helped coax the passenger out with a bit of salmon.
Lichty says he can't imagine making that trip at 70 mph in this week's subfreezing temperatures.
The family called Olympia businesses in the area where he was working Wednesday but didn't find the kitten's owner. The animal had no collar or microchip; the Lichtys say they'll keep the kitten.