A pilot at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways accidentally smuggled his pet cat into Sydney, Australia according to a leaked memo from the airline’s operation team. But under the country’s strict quarantine laws, it might be some time before the pilot gets reunited with his pet.
This embarrassing incident all started when the First Officer (who we won’t name to save any further blushes) was packing for his trip Down Under. It would appear that his feline friend jumped into his suitcase and somehow went undiscovered when it came time to lock up and set off to the airport.
What’s even more remarkable, though, is the fact that the stowaway managed to survive the 14-hour flight between the UAE’s capital and Sydney in the cargo hold of one of Etihad’s A380’s.
Unless other live animals were being carried, the cargo hold isn’t normally pressurised or heated – which sure looks like this cat has used up several of its nine lives in this escapade.
The pilot was first informed of the cats disappearance from the family home when a friend went to feed the critter and realised it was nowhere to be found. Shortly after, the cat turned up in the pilots hotel room.
Obviously not in the best state, the cat was taken to a local vet for a check up and is now being held in quarantine.
This isn’t the first time a cat on a plane has made headlines this week. A couple of days a go, Russian airline Aeroflot said it had stripped a frequent flyer of his air miles after he got his overweight cat onboard one of its aircraft.
Aeroflot has a strict weight limit for in-cabin pets of 8kg but the man’s pet came in at a hefty 10kg. On one flight, the man didn’t have a problem bringing his companion onboard but on a connecting flight, ground staff weighed the animal and banned it from being brought in the cabin.
Not wanting to put the cat in the cargo hold, the man devised a plan whereby he rebooked on the same flight the next day. He then substituted his cat with a friends for the weigh-in before swapping them around again when it came to getting onboard.
It was a great plan but it all came undone when the man shared his story on social media. Aeroflot got wind of his ploy and decided the best punishment was removing him from the airline’s frequent flyer programme.