If you own a pet, one of the most terrifying things is realizing your loved one is missing. It's downright heartbreaking.

A man in Wheat Ridge went through that for four straight days. He looked all over for his new kitten. He thought she ran away! Little Vegas was her name. She's a cute white and black 4-month-old.

He found him - with the help of a local officer - in the most unlikely spot. Truth be told, the officer says he couldn't believe she was still alive.

And her name might have something to do with how she lucked out.

"Vegas is her name." says her owner, Matthew Sisneros.

This young kitten with pretty convincing disappearing act vanished Tuesday, moments after Sisneros brought her home for the first time off the street.

As he searched and searched, he had to keep driving for his work. That's when - Saturday morning - he heard a meow from inside his van.

He pulled over in Prospect Park near 44th and Kipling when he frantically called for help. He reached out to animal control, but a community service officer nearby helped out first.

"I don't know how the cat survived," says officer Chris Wilkinson with the Wheat Ridge Police.

Wilkinson worked with Sisneros to follow Vegas' sounds around the van. it took 30 minutes, but finally - FINALLY - they zeroed in on the dashboard.

"We unclipped that and a paw fell out," Wilkinson says. "I'm imagining she crawled up through the bottom."

That's where she'd lodged herself - not in the glove box, or under the seats, but inside the dash itself not far from the engine.

"I looked to see if it had any burn marks - looked perfectly healthy," Wilkinson says.

The odds of that happening - the cat OK and the owner so happy - made the reunion the highlight of the officer's day. Plus he got a huge thank-you from Sisneros.

Wilkinson tells 9NEWS that Sisneros didn't break any laws and that he was genuinely trying to find the cat during all that time. She's recovering, but having some trouble eating and drinking water.

Sisneros says he's keeping the cage nearby and will watch her extra closely if she ever rides in his van again.