NEWS AND COMMENT – SUDAN: The cat is described as feral. Perhaps it was semi-feral. It found its way into the cockpit of a Tarco Airlines aircraft at Khartoum International Airport and was well hidden. Last Wednesday, half an hour into flight to the Qatari capital Doha the cockpit crew spotted the cat.
The cat attacked the captain. He decided to abort the flight and returned to Khartoum Airport.
The reports are skimpy but it appears that the aircraft was parked in a hangar before the flight. Access to the interior was possible. Perhaps the door was open during cleaning or maintenance work and the cat, looking for a secure place to hide and rest, sneaked in unobserved.
The place the cat selected just happened to be the cockpit of a commercial airliner, which isn’t the best choice.
In defence of the cat, the only reason why it attacked the captain is because it was scared, probably terrified. It would have been an act of defensive aggression. Perhaps also the crew, understandably, tried to remove the cat which provoked the retaliatory aggression.
It is the first time I have read such a story. It is highly unusual. I expect the airport will instigate some new procedures.
I sincerely that the cat is okay. I don’t want to read that it was abused or killed. And I don’t want to read about stray cats at Khartoum Airport being exterminated in some cruel way. If you want to get rid of them please do it humanely. It is the only way.
On an associated topic there have been many cases of domestic cats escaping from their carriers at airports where they make their way to hiding place causing great distress to their owner. The cause? Probably a broken lock on the carrier. Or perhaps the carrier is damaged by the handlers. Persian cats have been banned from one airline because they have inherent breathing problems due to extreme breeding. I recall one Persian cat dying in the hold mid-flight. There may be more cases.
SOME MORE ON AIR TRAVEL:
Egyptair disastrously messed up transportation of rescue cats to the USA when they smashed cat carriers
Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.