"I looked in the boot, under the bonnet, and climbed all over and under it and still couldn't find what was making the noise," Grimmer told Royal Navy Online. "I called up some of our air engineers who came and helped me to start dismantling my pride and joy. On taking off the rear bumper we were greeted with a tiny tiger-striped kitten."
Since he was already dangerously close to being late for duty, Lt. Grimmer had no choice but to take his new friend with him to work. His squadronmates, delighted by their newest recruit, named him Tigger in honor of the squadron's nickname–the Flying Tigers. After his harrowing journey in the BMW, Tigger has been a little anxious and unwilling to leave his savior's side.
"The place he has felt most comfortable is in my flying helmet, which is the only place he is able to sleep," said Grimmer.
"We are more than happy to adopt Tigger as a mascot," Commander Brendan Spoors, CO of the squadron, told Royal Navy. "After all, it's a tradition for Royal Navy units to have a ship's cat!"
The 814 has launched a campaign to locate Tigger's owners called "Operation Tiger Kitten". If the 814 can't find Tigger's owners, the kitten may end up serving aboard HMS Ocean along with the rest of the squadron, as they are due to deploy for training exercises in the Baltic and Mediterranean.
Tigger's story isn't unusual. We've seen a few stories of kittens surviving rides after crawling into cars to keep warm during the night. Sometimes they drop out of cars at inconvenient times, like when this kitten fell into the middle of a busy intersection. Sometimes rescuing the kitten can cause costly damage, as this man found out after he cut his truck's body to save a trapped kitten. Many more, however, go undiscovered and can die after getting trapped in a wheel well or engine compartment. To prevent unwanted stowaways, give you horn a quick honk to send them running. Driver should be especially vigilant in the morning after a cool night or during the spring and fall when weather changes drive animals to seek warm hiding places.