Thursday, January 26, 2012

CAT I Takeoff

I'll tell you about the circular yurt construction shortly, but today I couldn't pass up this story about a cat that escaped from its carrier before take-off on an Air Canada flight. Air Canada allows small pets to be carried in the passenger cabin, provided that they remain in approved pet carriers that fit on the floor under a seat. The door to the carrier was, according to the passenger 'inadvertently opened' while the carrier was being stowed. My initial guess was that the passenger wanted to give Ripples a quick snuggle before shoving it under the seat, but apparently security video shows that the CATSA inspectors who opened the cage for security screening did not secure the latch. In any event Ripples saw an opportunity and fled.

So you have an airplane, which is not a really large place, and a cat, which is not a large animal and the other had to be found inside the one. That took them a while because the cat had done what cats do and found the smallest, warmest most inaccessible compartment in the whole aircraft: an avionics bay. This is the airplane equivalent of getting into the computer rack and curling up on top of the server. Or sleeping on top of an old-fashioned TV inside the entertainment unit. They had to access the avionics through an exterior panel to remove the cat and then to ensure that it wasn't a trained terrorist attack cat that had left a little explosive payload in there--or a non-terrorist cat that had simply chewed on something or left a payload of another variety--they took a further delay to inspect the avionics.

I thought Air Canada didn't carry pets in the winter months, but here's their pet policy. They accept them in the cabin, as checked luggage and as unaccompanied cargo. They do have seasonal restrictions on pets in the baggage compartment to keep pets from being baked or frozen during ground handling.

I stand by my earlier statement that there should be a program in place whereby a passenger wishing to have a cat at their destination registers the one they have, drops it off at the airport and on arrival is given one of a similar size and colour, to enjoy for the duration of their stay.


Anonymous said...

I can't help but mention the existence of a whole airline dedicated just to transporting pets: Pet Airways. Given the annoyances of transporting pets on many "real" airlines, this almost makes sense. Though personally, when I need to transport pets on board, I prefer to just smuggle my rats without telling the airline about them, and am very, very careful to keep them inside the carrier at all times, because I know all too well what they will do to any cables they find if given the chance.

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

Pet Airways flew out of HHR right down the street from where I used to live. I would look up at the sound of an engine and see them fly over on their way to somewhere.

If I went anywhere for a long time I'd take my 9 lb protector with me and as long as he could smell me he'd be fine. He's got horrible separation anxiety. But he's my boy.

Glad to see you back writing.

Cedarglen said...

Thanks. That post made my day

DataPilot said...

Cat-in-avionics is a new one for me, but snake-in-a-computer is not.
I personally know someone who claims he found a snake in curled around the power supply of his computer. Although he didn't think to take photos to prove it, I can vouch for his credibility.

Some other IT person in India did have the wherewithal to photograph their snake before extracting it - alive - from their computer's internals.

Real Living Snake Found Hiding in Computer

D.B. said...

I hope the pilot was an ex-naval aviator. They know all about cat-shots from carriers.

capnaux said...

Your blog was just recommended to me by a subscriber over on my blog. Hysterical!

I sorely miss my awesome cat Tarzan while on the road in my Airbus, but what can ya do?! Your blog reminds me of the old switch on the B-727 that reroutes power from the cargo hold heater to the avionics bay--better known as the "Puppy Snuffer" switch!

i'm definitely adding you to my blogroll. Come visit me over at We definitely have the same sense of humor, lol!