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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

stowaway cat travels 2200 miles Cyprus to Britain in shipping container

A stowaway is a person who secretly boards a vehicle, such as an aircraft, bus, ship, cargo truck or train, to travel without paying and without being detected.Smuggling is the illegal transportation of objects (and sometimes people too !) across varied places especially borders of a State (Country). There are various motives, almost all illegal and banned in civil society. According to IMO, the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic, 1965, as amended, define stowaway as "A person who is secreted on a ship, or in cargo which is subsequently loaded on the ship, without the consent of the shipowner or the Master or any other responsible person and who is detected on board the ship after it has departed from a port, or in the cargo while unloading it in the port of arrival, and is reported as a stowaway by the master to the appropriate authorities".

How long and where they would hide gets redefined from time to time – and I had posted recently on the  news of stowaway falling to death from jet nearer Heathrow after 11 hour long journey from South Africa – and yet another one surviving such long arduous hazardous journey! It is believed the two men sneaked on to flight BA0054 before it set off from Johannesburg airport on Wednesday evening. The man who died is then thought to have hidden in the wheel recess during the airliner's 11-hour five-minute overnight flight to London.  .

A study made in 2012 found at least 76 per cent of so-called 'wheel-well stowaways' die during their attempt.  Those that do survive tend to be on short-haul flights which stay at relatively low altitudes. Many of those who die attempting wheel-well stowaways freeze to death during the flight before dropping to the ground.

A cat has nine lives is a common saying….it is stated that domestic cats fall from any height with a remarkable survival rate.  A study reveals that a typical domestic cat’s terminal velocity is sufficiently low, around 60 mph, that they can absorb the shock of the landing.  This isn’t to say they will absorb the shock without injury; simply that they are more likely to survive the fall than not.Specifically, according to a study done by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 132 cats falling from an average of 5.5 stories and as high as 32 stories, the latter of which is more than enough for them to reach their terminal velocity, have a survival rate of about 90%, assuming they are brought in to treat their various injuries that may occur because of the impact with the ground. 

Sometime back, Daily Mail reported that a  homesick cat used up at least one of its nine lives after surviving for six weeks stuck inside a chimney.The moggy, named Chloe, endured a 20ft plunge before going weeks without food and water behind the sealed up fireplace.The stricken pet had been trying to get back into her home while her owners Marianne and Patrick Wood were on holiday.She was pulled, barely alive from the shaft, six weeks later when the couple returned home and heard her cries coming through the walls.

The couple had arranged with a neighbour to look after Chloe in their absence, feeding her twice a day and letting her inside at night.But the homesick cat decided to try and break in to the house. Their neighbours spent a week searching for Chloe but to no avail. Mrs Wood even emailed them a photo of the seven-year-old cat from 10,000 miles away to be used on 'missing' posters.Then the day after the couple returned home they heard a pathetic meowing from behind the sealed up fireplace in an upstairs bedroom.   They used a knife to cut a hole through the sealant and found a skeletal-looking Chloe barely alive. The cat was rushed to a Vet, put on a drip and fed small amounts of food to help her build her strength up and returned home.

MailOnline of 22nd June reports of another cat hiding in a shipping container and surviving for 3 weeks without food or water during 2,200-mile journey from Cyprus to Britain.  It was  discovered in a British warehouse after surviving a three-week journey in a shipping container without any food or water. The stowaway tabby-and-white cat, who has since been dubbed Miss Pickford, became trapped after wandering into the crate as it was being loaded in the port of Limassol, Cyprus, in February.It remained in the sealed container as the vessel sailed to Felixstowe, Suffolk - stopping off in Haifa, Israel, Antwerp, Belgium, Bremerhaven, Germany and Rotterdam, the Netherlands on the way.

The animal was discovered by staff from Pickfords, a removal and storage company, after they heard its meows as they unpacked the container at a warehouse in Kempston, Bedfordshire in March.The cat, who had made a bed for itself in one of the boxes, is believed to have survived by licking condensation from the walls. The team at Pickfords phoned the local Bedford Trading Standards organisation who caught the cat and took it to Bayton Lodge Quarantine Kennels and Cattery in Bedworth, Warwickshire.

Though it arrived in a bad condition, extremely thin, very dehydrated – it has made a miraculous recovery during her quarantine period, and was given flea and worm treatment, rabies vaccination and a microchip.The four-year-old feline is now being cared for at Cats Protection's Birmingham Adoption Centre and is looking for a new home.  The manager at the centre is quoted as saying -  'Miss Pickford is a very special cat to have survived such a gruelling ordeal.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

23rd June 2015.

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