SAN ANGELO, Texas — Yes, you read the headline right.

When winter weather hits, small and stray animals try their best to find a warm place for the night. Sometimes that place might be the warm engine of your car. 

"Even though it has been sitting all night and you think the engine is cold, to them it's still going to be warmer in there than it is outside," Tori Rubio, administrative assistant at Concho Valley PAWs, said. 

Rubio learned about cats' preference to hide in engines the hard way. Years ago, her own cat sought refuge in the engine of her diesel truck. When Rubio turned her car on, her cat lost his tail.

"When you approach your vehicle, you want to stop, you want to knock on it to wake them up, and look under there to see if you see any movement," she said.

Dr. John Russell from North Concho Veterinary Clinic said he gets multiple cats every winter that need to be saved from car engine injuries. 

"The injuries can be severe if they get caught in one of the belts or the fan. That can actually be fatal," he said.

Hitting the hood of your car, checking under the engine, or even giving the car a little time to run before starting to drive, should give any cat enough time to wake up and slip out from underneath, according to Russell and Tori Rubio.