A kitten stuck in the middle of road — her paws glued to the pavement — was rescued by an alert driver and now has a forever home.
Sticky is her name. She's 5-8 weeks old and weighs 1.3 pounds.
Her new family includes Stewie, an 8-pound Chihuahua, and Jojo, a 115-pound great Pyrenees.
"She's already well-established with the dogs and everybody else," said Chuck Hawley, the hero of this story.
Hawley works as the director of facilities at the Salvation Army Kroc Center. He rescued the grey and white striped kitten on Silverton Road NE during his commute Friday from Silverton to Salem.
It was about 7 a.m. and he was traveling west just past Cordon Road NE. Ahead of him, he saw cars weaving to avoid something on the road, their tires just missing the object.
It was still dark outside. He couldn't tell if it might have been a box or a sack.
And then, after a truck swerved past the object, he saw the silhouette of what he described as a "kitten emoji."
Hawley slammed on his brakes, stopped traffic, and put his hazard warning lights on. He ignored drivers honking at him while he approached the kitten, which was shaking like a leaf.
"She was meowing and not very happy," said Hawley, who went to work carefully peeling her paws off the pavement.
"Her front feet came off easy, but her back feet were still stuck, so I peeled the glue off the road and took it with us. That was easier."
He bathed the kitten at the Kroc Center, first with Goo Gone, which he realized might not be the best solution to use on an animal. Then he used Dawn dish soap, a well-documented cleaning method in wildlife rescue after oil spills.
Hawley later took the kitten to Silver Creek Animal Clinic, where she had her paws soaked in mineral oil and was treated by Dr. Jenny Bate.
"She was still pretty sticky," Dr. Bate said. "She still had quite a bit on her paw pads and stuck between her toes, and her belly and tail were really sticky.
"Mineral oil is really good at getting glue or anything sticky out of fur."
During an examination, Dr. Bate found three small, round puncture wounds under her neck that looked to be a couple days old. It is not known what caused the wounds.
As for gluing an animal to the road, the veterinarian had never seen a case like this.
"It's the worst thing I can imagine," Dr. Bate said. "It makes you wonder what would make a person do that. It's just awful."
Sticky, cold from all the baths, was fluffed up with a blow dryer and given a dose of flea control medication before going home with Hawley. The kitten will start her vaccine regiment next week.
Lucky would have been an appropriate name, too.
"She was really lucky," Dr. Bate said. "I'm just so glad for people in the world that will stop and take kittens off the road."
The response to Hawley's heroics has been overwhelming and humbling.
He's received emails from all over the world, including Australia, Portugal, Spain, Scotland, and England. One of the latest came from an Iraqi news outlet, where permission was requested to translate the story into Arabic.
Coincidentally, he and his wife, Mikee, had talked a couple days earlier about possibly getting another dog because Jojo has cancer, or maybe even a cat. They even joked about how a cat would find them.
Sticky's story offered life's lessons for their twin 11-year-old sons, Christian and Kai.
"Everything I keep telling my kids is we just really needed some good news for this to be such an incredible story for everybody," Hawley said. "The whole world needed a good story.
"And for every jerk who would glue a cat to the road, 400,000 in the world would not."
Hawley's Facebook Post on Saturday included a selfie with the kitten on his shoulder.
His wife has since created a Facebook page, Sticky the Kitty, and the kitten's fanbase is growing. She had nearly 9,000 likes by early afternoon Monday.
"I’m glad people have found hope in this little kitten," Hawley said.
clynn@StatesmanJournal.com, 503-399-6710, or follow on Twitter @CapiLynn or Facebook @CapiLynnSJ.