A WIRE SERVICE STORY ....
A "cat"astrophe was averted today at the
airport at Providence, R.I., thanks to the humanitarian efforts of several
Continental Airlines employees who rescued "Muffy," a gray and
white feline, from the wheel well of one of the airline's MD80 aircraft.
The incident began at approximately 6:30 a.m. when the pet escaped from its
kennel held in the baggage room of another carrier. The cat darted across
the ramp and crawled into the wheel well of Continental flight 1477 as
employees were preparing the aircraft for its on-time departure to Newark
International Airport. Continental crews worked for more than seven hours to
bring the cat to safety, including a failed early morning attempt to lure the
cat from the wheel well with fresh salmon. The cat was finally pulled to
safety after maintenance crews removed the aircraft's wing to body faring
panel at 1:30 p.m. local time. Continental returned the cat to its
originally scheduled airline so that it may be reunited with its family.
"Continental has long been the preferred carrier for customers, I guess that
reputation has extended to the animal world as well," said a Continental
spokesperson. "We're told Muffy appreciated the efforts of the Continental
employees who rescued her. They are truly the cat's meow."
While the frightened feline never posed a danger or threat to the aircraft
nor its ability to fly, Continental executives canceled the morning departure
from Providence to Newark for "humanitarian" reasons. The 82 customers on
board were sympathetic to the dilemma and were reaccommodated on later
flights to their final destinations.