There’s a good reason humankind has the saying: “Curiosity killed the cat.” Luckily for a black and white feline in French Guiana, curiosity didn’t quite do her in this time. But the next time she decides to take a nap or go exploring, she may not want to chose the wing of a plane.
A video of the kitty’s daring flight appeared on YouTube this weekend and has since gotten seven million views. The man who posted the video, Romain Jantot, is apparently the pilot of the ultra-light plane in the clip, and operates a flying club in Kouru, the Guardian reported.
Though quite nerve-wracking for the poor cat, the video is a hoot. Romain and his excited French passenger appear in the footage first. He is seriously focused on the flight, she is smiling widely and grasping onto the harness holding her in the seat.
Everything appears to be normal. A lush green landscape unfurls beneath the plane and the woman gazes around, taking in the scene. It just looks like a fun, if a little terrifying, adventure.
But then, from the right side of the screen under the plane’s left wing, there’s a bit of movement: A furry head, creeping along the wing. A black and white furball slowly emerges, and a face of utter confusion and terror. The animal lunges — very carefully — toward the plane’s metal pole and holds on as best she can, the New York Post added.
The poor thing clings to the pole for dear life as the wind whips through her fur and she meows desperately for help. The animal appears in the video about 38 seconds in, and Jantot notices her about 20 seconds later with a widening of his eyes and a jolt of fear.
Obviously, he wasn’t expecting to see a cat on his plane.
“A standard flight until … I still don’t know if it got in after the pre-flight check or if I missed it. The cat is doing well, she is still our mascot.”
His passenger, apparently oblivious to the cat for the moment, Romain immediately turns around and begins his descent, his eyes flicking every few seconds to the cat, still perched on the plane’s wing. She holds on as the aircraft eases down back to Earth, then finally lands back on the runway.
And that’s when the passenger seems to finally notice the animal perched above her head.
As soon as it’s safe to do so, the pilot rips off his headset, unclasps his seatbelt, and pops up from his seat, making a bee-line for the cat. He peels it from the wing and the cat jumps, skittish but surely grateful, from the plane onto the pavement.
Now, given the untrustworthy nature of the Internet, it’s certainly possible that the video is a fake. But Huffington Post enlisted the advice of pilot Stephen Bass to determine if the video is genuine — and he believes it is.
“There’s fabric on the top and the bottom of the wing and space in between. You see it crawling out from the center of the wing, where it was protected. I think it’s real.”
[Photos Courtesy YouTube Screengrabs]