A cat apparently went on a rampage in the cockpit of a passenger plane heading to Qatar recently. The feline was so disruptive that the pilot actually decided to turn the plane around and abandon the flight’s scheduled route, according to a report in the Sudanese newspaper Al-Sudani.
A Tarco Airlines Boeing 737 was already a half-hour into its flight from Sudan’s Khartoum International Airport to Qatar’s capital city of Doha when the feline, an ‘unregistered passenger’, suddenly emerged in the pilot’s cabin, according to the February 25 report. According to local Al Rakoba, the bizarre incident took place on Tarco Aviation’s flight 3T-234. Likely alarmed by its unfamiliar surroundings and people, the cat instantly went on the offensive, attacking the pilot and resisting attempts to catch it. The whole scene led the pilot deciding to divert the flight back to Khartoum to safely remove the feline passenger. As noted by the U.K.’s Metro, local reports characterized the cat as “aggressive and angry.”
While one may think that the offender was an escapee from a passenger’s on-board belongings, the furry stowaway was said to be a feral feline. According to Al-Sudani, airline workers believe the cat likely boarded the Boeing 737 plane while it was stationary in the hangar overnight for cleaning and preparations and found a comfortable spot to rest, only ‘hijacking’ the cockpit mid-air. It’s also possible that the cat could’ve crept aboard the aircraft during the pre-flight engineer check.
Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time that a cat has made an unexpected appearance on a plane. Back in July, a cat was discovered on a military plane that arrived at Bangor International Airport in Maine. The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane originally took off at the Travis Air Force Base in California, and stopped in Colorado Springs before arriving in Bangor.
It was unclear at the time how or when the cat ended up on the cargo plane, however, it seemed to have enjoyed the ride and maintained a friendly temperament when crew members discovered the gray-and-white feline hiding behind crates on the plane.
“We are calling it the ‘feline recovery mission,'” Aimee Thibodeau, airport marketing and business development manager, told Bangor Daily News at the time. “As far as anyone knows, this is a first for the Bangor airport.”
The cat was then reportedly taken to the Bangor Humane Society. Folks at the animal shelter worked to find whether or not the cat had owners looking for it, so they posted social media messages about the cat regularly. After several weeks of no responses to posts about the cat, the shelter officially put the cat up for adoption. It quickly found a home with Nanci Hamlin, who works at the Bangor International Airport, and was given an appropriate name: Cargo.
“Knowing Cargo the way we do now, we can see why he was on that plane,” Hamlin told Bangor Daily News in a separate report. “He has no fear and loves to get on top of or inside everything.”
Hamlin added: “He is a real spitfire and we call him a Tasmanian Devil. He usually really gets going around two in the morning.”
However, this is not the only cat-astrophe that has occurred recently. Earlier last month, a cat wreaked havoc inside a cockpit in an Israeli airlines’ EL AL plane. After infiltrating the cabin, it gnawed on the interiors damaging several plastic encasements and handles.
Even though it’s bizarre, it’s not the first time that a cat attacked a flight captain mid-air. In 2004, a Brussels Airlines pilot became a victim of a cat attack when a runaway feline ran wild in the cockpit. According to the Mirror, the animal had reportedly escaped from its airline-approved pet carrier and began trotting near the cabin. It broke into the cockpit when a crew member opened the door to serve some refreshments.