Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bethel, Alaska: After abrupt flight, cat poops in cockpit, becomes Airplane Cat

Airplane Cat sits atop dispatch cabinet in Craig Air, a Bethel, Alaska, air taxi. (To see larger image, click on photograph.)

According to the company historian, when a scruffy looking white cat showed up at Craig Air, a bush flying service based in Bethel, Alaska, the owner was unhappy. He had a hard heart towards felines and did not want this one hanging around to bother his pilots, mechanics, customers and certainly not himself.*

Yet, the cat was friendly, so he picked it up, gripped it in one hand, drew it back behind his head and then flung it as hard and far as he could. Twisting and jerking, the cat flew through the air in a great arch, came down across the road, jumped up, and scurried off into the bushes.

Airport Cat and the Craig Air dispatcher and flight historian.

“And don’t come back, you g... d... f… miserable son-of-a-b-!” the owner, in a startling case of species misidentification, shouted after the cat as it fled.

Hangar cat in the midst of broad overview of Craig Air.

But the cat did come back, in the night, after everyone had left for the day. He leaped up through the open door into the cockpit of a Cessna undergoing maintenance in the hangar. There, the cat squatted and pooped on the seat.

Cat studies dog lying on Craig Air floor.

Come morning, the owner peered inside the plane and saw the fresh pile of poop. He then spotted the cat standing nearby, staring at him in bullheaded defiance. With a hard gleam in his eye, the man scrutinized the cat critically for several long moments. Not withstanding the danger of the moment, the cat did not flinch, but just stared back; the gleam that was hard slowly transformed into a bemused twinkle.

Airplane Cat groom in front of aviation map and manuals.

“Hell. If you’ve got that kind of attitude, I guess you can stay,” the flight service owner chuckled. And so the cat stayed, and was still there when I arrived many years later. When I asked its name, the young Brazilian immigrant who served as flight service clerk, dispatcher, coffee-maker and historian, looked puzzled, as if the concept of a cat having a name was brand new to him.

Whoa! Historian scratches Airport Cat. It feels good.

“He doesn’t really have a name,” he finally answered, “we just call him ‘Airport Cat,’ or “Airplane Cat,’ or ‘Hangar Cat,’ or mostly, just ‘Cat.’” The historian then reached over to stroke the cat’s belly. By all appearances, Airport Cat found the experience to be immediately ecstatic.

So good!

Oh, my!




So good to be a cat!

My, oh my, oh my!

Hey! It's been good, but maybe that's enough...

Overpet! Overpet! Attack! Attack!

Airplane Cat claws the hand that scratches him, and bites the wrist.

*As my regular readers know, thanks to this absurd injury of mine, I have had to stay put all summer. I have not traveled as I usually do. Still, I have hundreds of back-logged Cats Met Along the Way stories, so I thought I would break away to a not too distant time when I was still traveling, flying about Alaska in tiny airplanes, to tell this story about Airplane Cat.


=^..^= said...

My first "adult" cat (shared an apartment with me in college) was a pooper too. If he got upset with you, for any reason, beware. He'd find something of yours, either on your bed, or a pile of your clothes, and poop on them. Then carefully cover up the poop.

He died three years ago, the day after Christmas, at the ripe old age of 19. I loved that old boy.

michico*Adan said...

That is very sweet~~ And adorable, too!
Michico loves doing that until I bite her, and she is very satisfied from my bitten~~~
if you come to Taiwan, I shall ask Michico bring you to visit other cat friends~~~
You can at least see 20~40 cats. She has too many cat friends because of me!!~~~

Anonymous said...

hahahah this is hilarious!

omg omg! I would love you to see my cats when and if you come to nigeria...

Standtall said...

Airport cat is a dude. I am keeping one of my white kittens too. That will make my cats to be 4. I even like one other kitten but I have to let him go. They wil lbe weaned in 3 wks time I think.

I will still have to look for someone that will like to adopt an adult cat cos I cant keep them all since we are relocating to a smaller flat.

Ah, I have digressed.

Airport cat is beuatiful and he did what my cat would do. Bite you when he gets carried away with the play

Mist Panther said...

That is such a cool story. Reminds me a pomerain "Brisco" that my husband's family use to have. Brisco and his previous owner, "John" a friend of my husband, did not get along in the slightest. So one day Brisco backed his butt up into the openning John's construction work boot and took a dump. From what I understand it was really funny to see John curse and dance around, unfortunatly I was not there :(.

Taddie Tales said...

OMG Grahamn this was hilarious ... I almost peed myself with laughter while I read it. Now thats the kind of cat a man needs around - put him in his place!!!!

My big guy Nick does the same thing when he's pissed off at me - usually something that is not cleanable. Like the couch. Bella the little priss just sh-ts on my bed.

They sure have a way to let you know that you pissed them off....


Team Tabby said...

Now there is cat-ti-tude! and personality plus. Great story.

Mindy & Moe

Craig said...

We will miss "Hanger Kitty" forever! Craig & Emily Emery, Craig Air, Inc.

Grahamn Kracker said...

Craig and Emily - Hangar cat is part of my screen saver slide show, so I see him just about every day when I am home. Each time, he makes me smile. I know Hangar Cat has made many people smile - your passengers and my readers.

He will continue to do so. I plan to make an iPad book about the cats I have met traveling around Alaska. Hangar Cat will surely be in there.

I'm sorry for your loss, but glad he insisted upon making his home with you.

Brian Burk said...

I worked for Craig and Emily in 2003 and remember Hangar Kitty well. Thanks for the memory blast. C&E, if you see this, I hope all is well. With thanks and fond memories,