Ground personnel noticed a cat sitting in a parked and locked 737. But this aircraft hadn’t flown and had supposedly remained locked for two weeks!
Cats can often look indifferent and bored. But this is an exceptional case. The picture belongs to user Ido Wachtel, an aviation photographer from Israel. He captured an image of a cat in a 737 that looks indifferent. But based on more evidence, the poor thing was anything but indifferent! As we can see outside the cockpit, this is not just a parked jet. It is an aircraft in storage, as the taping of the Alpha-vane shows.
According to the poster of the photo, the cat’s temporary home is an EL-AL Boeing 737-900ER, with registration 4X-EHB. And indeed, recent photos of the aircraft show that it has the name “KIRYAT BIALIK” under the cockpit. Kiryat Bialik is a city in Israel. Also, this aircraft is fairly new. EL AL took delivery of the jet on November of 2013, making it a bit over seven years old.
According to the airline, the status of the 737 belonging to “Captain Cat” is indeed “parked”. The aircraft last flew on the 24th of January. It made two sectors, from Tel Aviv to Dubai and back. And there is no newer information on any movements. So, according to the photographer, the cat must have spent two weeks locked in this 737!
Mr. Wachtel has since confirmed that ground crew liberated the adventurous cat. But we hope he will forgive us for being a bit skeptical about the duration of the cat’s stay in the aircraft. It would be difficult for an animal like this to last this long. Not only would the intruder have been without food, it would also be without water, as well.
How A Cat Invades A 737…
A more likely explanation for the cat’s 737 adventure has to do with the way airlines store their aircraft. Indeed, airlines can ‘mothball’ the jets, to keep them closed for weeks or months. But in such a situation, they would certainly block the cockpit windows. This helps keep the temperature of the interior from rising too much.
הבוקר ציצתי על חתול שהסתנן לקוקפיט מטוס בואינג 737 של אל על. כך נראה תא הטייסים עכשיו, וואו.
— איתי בלומנטל Itay Blumental (@ItayBlumental) February 7, 2021
But in the external photo, the cat is clearly perched on top of the 737’s instrument panel. And he or she is enjoying what is probably the morning sun. Also, at the lower-right of the photo, we can see what appears to be the railing of the 737’s air-stairs. Of course this could be the ground crew, going in to rescue the trespassing feline.
So, it’s more probable that ground crews inadvertently assisted the cat’s entry to the 737. They probably open up the aircraft regularly, every couple of days. This would happen if the airline has the aircraft in temporary storage. So, mechanics periodically enter the aircraft, power its systems and let it run for a while. Or they could even fire up the engines and/or the APU, to keep their fluids where they need to be. Unfortunately, it seems the cat stayed in the plane long enough to get quite hungry. The damage in the interior photos is quite disturbing!
Unfortunately it seems that airlines will need to store many aircraft for a new more months. Until they bring them all back, let’s hope that inquisitive (stray?) cats like this, stay clear of 737s and other aircraft. Because this aircraft will need some expensive repairs. More importantly, the poor cat’s stomach can’t be in a good shape. We could say that things could be worse, but the cat would probably disagree!