Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Little Kiddo, a gray tabby, was the first cat to cross the Atlantic by air. He belonged to one of the crew members of Walter Wellman's airship America. He is shown here with Melvin Vaniman, chief engineer of the airship which took off from Atlantic City, New Jersey on October 15, 1910. As could have been predicted Kiddo didn’t enjoy the experience at first and howled piteously. The America was the first aircraft to carry radio equipment, and Vaniman ordered a wireless message sent to [owner Walter] Wellman’s secretary back on shore. The historic first radio communication from an aircraft in flight reads: "Roy, come and get this goddamn cat.”
Kiddo soon adapted, however, and spent a semi-content 71 and a half hours in flight. After his experience, Kiddo attained celebrity and was briefly displayed in Gimbel’s department store on plush cushions in a gilded cage, before completely retiring from aviation to live with Wellman’s daughter.
Sent to me by Mr. Nag