In the early 1990s, Hangar cat "Mog" was resident at Gulf Aeronautics. He had previously lived across Ardmore airfield at Flight Engineers. He was a prolific hunter and had very little tolerance for dogs straying onto his patch. he was seen on several occasions to take on dogs far bigger than him, and he definitely had quite an attitude. He did have a soft spot for Newfoundland dogs though (The big black hairy giants). The story goes that when he was at Flight engineers, one of the houses across the road had an enormous, but very gentle Newfie. In the Morning the Newfie was tied up to a substantial kennel (about the size of a kids playhouse) on the back lawn, and in the evening the owner would come home to find the Kennel on the front lawn... The Newfie often got free and wandered across to visit various hangars on the airfield, where he was generally fussed over and made welcome. It turns out that He and Mog became great friends, and often played friendly chasing games in the paddocks around the hangar. Eventually they got a bit carried away and started chasing around inside the hangar, much to the amusement of the engineers. One day however a Barr Bros airtruck was being rebuilt in the hangar. A wing assembly was set up on saw horses and a tailboom was being fitted - a job which involves an engineer reaching through a small inspection hole to do up the bolts. Right in the middle of this delicate exercise Mog runs through the hangar, followed by the Newfie. Mog runs under the wing, and the Newfie follows, however his huge bulk just isnt big enough.... result, Wing and tailboom on the ground, engineer nursing a sore arm, and Dog and Cat banned from playing chasey in the hangar....
Post by Peter Lewis on May 31, 2012 21:01:12 GMT 12
I remember that dog, Bruce. He used to hang a round Waitemata on Saturday afternoons waiting for the club barbeque to start.
WAC had a cat at that time (early 1990s), Spinner. It used to go outside on cold winter mornings and warm its feet on the bonnet of the staff cars as people arrived for work. One of the instructors had a Toyota MR2, which was rear engined. It knew that the place to sit and get warm on that one was was the back of the car, not the front.
Back in the days of NAC/TEAL services at Whenuapai, there was a cat that inhabited one of the prefabs at the end of the terminal (could have been the kitchens in there?) which used to lie around sunning itself. It used to wander out and sit on the tarmac near the aircraft, quite friendly to all and apparently impervious to the noise. Everyone just steered around it and as far as I know it survived to a ripe old age.
From the DC-3 thread:
Skyliner ZK-AZA at Whenuapai 23Aug1964 with furry friend (the famous Whenuapai cat).
Retirement is something for the young. Once you are old you never seem to have the time.
Post by Dave Homewood on May 31, 2012 21:34:45 GMT 12
There's a very nice cat that inhabits the Pioneer Aero Restorations Ltd hangar at Ardmore, i have seen it on most visits, usually sleeping on one of the planes in there.
I recall at Whenuapai there was a barrack cat called Badger when I lived in Bristol Block. He was known to everyone and seemingly owned by no-one. He would wander the corredors like he owned them and often socialised in the barracks' TV room in the evenings with all the lads. Really cute and friendly. He had a habit of farting in the TV room and that is how he got the name Badger as in the RNZAF when a fart is let rip it is often followed by the word Badger being spoken.
At Hobsonville one of the Airmens' Mess GSH's called Jock had his own tabby cat who he brought every night to the Airman's Club, where it sat while he got pissed. I have a feeling it sometimes also drank beer from a saucer or mybe it was milk.
Post by ngatimozart on May 31, 2012 22:27:42 GMT 12
At Wigram it was Smokey an aptly named tom that was the best fed cat in NZ. It was only partially tame but he did a circuit every day from the Airmens Mess to the WOs & SNCOs / No 2 Officers Mess, then off to the Catering School at 3TTS finishing off at No 1 Officers Mess. he had been known to visit the WAAFry, Cpls Club & the Crash Fire Section just in case a feed was on the offer. He must've sired most of the wild cat population at Wigram, but woe betide anyone who harmed him because he was protected from on high - rumour had it about AOC level or above. Joe Burns was his best mate and always looked out for him. When they had the six monthly cat cull a notice would go in BROs informing those in MQs on Base to lock their cats inside on certain days because the cracker stackers were going through shooting wild cats. If Smokey got shot that woud've been court martial offence and no promotion this side of ocean
At Shelly Bay there was a dog, can't remember his name who's ancestry and ownership was vague. However he wore a Cpls tag and was rationed inthe JRs ration strength. He had an official personal file and the appropriate conduct sheets. When I was in Wellington he was promoted from Cpl Dog to Sgt Dog but didn't remain a Sgt for long. IIRC he embarressed himself on the COs car or shoes, can't remember which, so was charged and busted back to Cpl. I think that wasn't long after a COs car ended up going for a swim in the oggy - slid off the wharf with CO making a very hasty exit before the big splash.
Did my dive training there and there were three cars underneath the wharves at Shelly Bay. Of course we had to get in and try & drive. Do you know how difficult it is to climb into a Morris 1100 in about 10ft of water with a wetsuit and dive tank on? That year we sunk the Officers Mess raft in the annual raft race. Cut their lashings from underneath Then tied the MT raft to one of the piles with a long rope
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” ― George Orwell
A wonderful thread with wonderful stories that have made me laugh out loud! The pic of the NAC Dak with Whenuapai's cat is classic - it's like he's telling someone out of frame "Nothing to see here folks, just the 11.20 to Wellington, move along".
Please keep them coming! I have a small stash of old NZ Wings with some great hangar cat pics, including Wanganui Aero Club's one in the front seat of a Cub in the November '93 issue. Guess its name. Go on. Guess ;-)
Last Edit: Jun 1, 2012 15:02:43 GMT 12 by ZacYates
Reville Air at Ardmore had a couple of hangar cats - one I recall was named Silvaire. They also had a Budgie in a cage called "Aresti" as he flew within a defined block of airspace (his cage). Aresti is of course the name of the system of judging aerobatics, based on a "square" of airspace.
Post by Dave Homewood on Feb 1, 2020 12:08:00 GMT 12
I just happened onto this article on an early Gisborne Hangar Cat from the POVERTY BAY HERALD, 27 February 1936:
Pilots and regular users of the Darton Field aerodrome find much interest in the doings of the aerodrome mascot, a black cat which is always on hand to welcome in the planes of the East Coast Airways’ service. The animal has developed a fondness for the planes, and when the machines are at rest can usually be found enjoying the sun in the 'cockpit seat, sometimes with its paws on the control wheel. At times it varies its aviational activity by climbing on to the hoods of cars drawn up on the aerodrome, and has more than once been “taken for a ride” by a driver who did not realise its presence. A petrol tank lorry gave the cat its latest excursion, the animal having travelled from Darton Field to town perched on the top of the tank. The aerodrome staff has had a collar made for the cat, bearing in silver block letters the airways company’s name.
Nice one Dave! You always suspect that (insert any likely or unlikely event you care to think of) has been going on for years, so it nice to read that our furry/hairy friends have been hanging around at aerodromes/airfields/airports/landing grounds for very many years. The fact that this one even has the furry one at the controls of an airliner of the day is the icing on the cake! Well done. David D
Not quite in the same league, but who can remember the NAC Airline Review of about 1959/60 (still all black & white) which featured on the cover the sight of a tiny sparrow sitting rather possessively on the mainwheel of a DC-3 resting at Nelson Airport. This was not just because one sparrow happened to land on a particular aircraft on any given day, but (presumed to be the same) sparrow which alighted on a succession of DC-3 tyres at Nelson, over a period. The bird always came out of a clear sky, as if this was its preordained and eternal mission assigned by a higher authority. (Sorry, just thinking too much.) David D
Has the Wanganui Aero Club's Sherman made it to these columns. I gather it turns up at the terminal to meet most Air Chat's flights.
Another cat that I see on a regular basis is Gypsy. Her home is at the Skydivers at Masterton. She knows the cars of certain Wonzas and turns up for a chat and a feed. Even on a day when absolutely nothing is happening she appears from under the cover of daylight for a chat.