Surprise at RNAS Culdrose as kitten survives 300-mile car journey

Topic: Fighting armsFleet Air Arm

Meet Tigger – the kitten which survived a 300-mile journey hiding INSIDE the bumper of a Navy helicopter pilot’s car.

The cat endured a day’s journey from Birmingham Airport to the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose near Helston in Cornwall clinging to the rear bumper of Lieutenant Nick Grimmer’s BMW.

It was only the day after the epic journey that 32-year-old Nick heard “very quiet meowing” coming from his car – and began to investigate.

“I’d landed at Birmingham after a holiday and travelled via Bristol and Bath before arriving in Cornwall quite late,” said Nick, who flies submarine–hunting Merlin helicopters for a living with 814 Naval Air Squadron – known as the Flying Tigers.  

“I looked in the boot, under the bonnet and climbed all over and under it and still couldn’t find what was making the noise.  

“I called up some of our air engineers who came and helped me to start dismantling my pride and joy. On taking off the rear bumper we were greeted by a tiny tiger-striped kitten.  

“He must have had a long journey but remarkably is unharmed. I am never late for work and was left with no option but to take my new friend in with me. The place he has felt most comfortable is in my flying helmet, which is the only place he is able to sleep.”  

The tiny creature was immediately christened Tigger by the squadron – not least because he has similar markings to their multi-million-pound grey and white helicopters.   They are looking after the kitten while efforts are made to trace Tigger’s owners.  

Commander Brendan Spoors, Commanding Officer of the Flying Tigers said, “We are more than happy to adopt ‘Tigger’ as a mascot; after all it’s a tradition for Royal Naval units to have a ships cat!  

“Tigger must have an owner somewhere between here and Birmingham and we are keen to locate them.  

“I instructed my team to launch ‘Operation Tiger Kitten’. With the help of social media they are hoping to be ‘mission complete’ by the end of the week.  

“They’d better be as we are due to join the rest of our squadron who are currently embarked on HMS Ocean on exercise in the Baltic before sailing for the Mediterranean.”

The place he has felt most comfortable is in my flying helmet, which is the only place he is able to sleep.

Lt Nick Grimmer, 814 Naval Air Squadron