“…come and get this goddamn cat!”
There’s been a long tradition of puttin’ fe-lyings to work on sailing ships where they would keep rats and other vermin out of the food stores. Supposedly they’re good luck, but readin’ through a few of these stories…well…not so much.
Apparently that mythical “luck” doesn’t translate to airships.
“In 1910, American journalist, airman, and adventurer Walter Wellman attempted to be the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean by air. One October day, he and a crew of five boarded the dirigible America in Atlantic City, New Jersey and took to the air, bound for Europe.
“The America carried two interesting pieces of equipment. One was one of the earliest radio sets ever carried on an aircraft, and the other was Kiddo, a stray cat one of the crewmen had scooped up from the hangar and brought on board for good luck.”
Biiiiiiiig mistake. The fe-lyin’ freaked out, according to the navigator, “…rushing around the airship like a squirrel in a cage.” An argument ensued between the radio operator, who wanted to dump the menace, and the navigator who insisted “We must keep the cat at all costs; we can never have luck without a cat aboard.”
He didn’t say what kind of luck.
Ultimately the men decided to lower the useless fe-lyin’ overboard to reporters followin’ the airship in a motorboat, but rough water defeated the attempt and Kiddo was back on board the Atlantic.
Eventually radio operator Irwin totally lost it and made the first (or maybe the second if ya’ wanna’ consider Canadian claims) air-to-ground radio transmission to his counterpart in Atlantic City: “Roy, come and get this goddamn cat!”
It wasn’t enough to save the Atlantic from the fe-lyin’ jinx.
“A little more than a day into the flight and well short of their destination, the crew ran into bigger problems than Kiddo. The weather took a turn for the worse, and the engines, clogged with sand from the Atlantic City beach, began to fail. Spotting a mail ship below them, the crew and Kiddo piled into the lifeboat and abandoned the America, which drifted away and was never seen again.”
Sounds like what’s happenin’ to the United States with all those Demo-cats on board.
Now, if ya’ wanna’ read how a canine handled lighter-than-air travel, here’s the story of Black Dog:
“At the beginning of the flight, Black Dog went forward to the radio compartment and lay down under the navigator’s table. Ten hours later when they 1anded at Glynco, Black Dog was still under the Nav table, behaving himself.”
Compare and contrast.
posted by Harrison at 10:11 AM