Tranquilizing Tubular Tabbies: Furry Sedatives for the Airborne

Forget about Snakes on a Plane. Cats on a plane is where it’s at.

Air travel can be fraught with lengthy TSA lines, final boarding calls and piddling little snacks even the Donner party would refuse. And that’s why after a whole minute of careful consideration, I propose the FAA reduce stress levels to the flying public by mandating that at least one highly trained service cat be placed aboard all domestic flights of over 2 hours. These soothing service kitties will go a long way toward tranquilizing a fuselage full of jittery passengers. I mean who among us would not be comforted to board a plane full of calming cats and watch the fur fly?


If boutique bookstores can have cats lolling languidly about the hardcovers, reminding us of our tranquil nature, why shouldn’t 737s have cats on seat backs and tray tables reminding us that maybe humans were meant to fly after all? What better way to soothe a fuselage full of fidgety fliers than to have a serene service cat entertain and relax them just by their presence. Each cat would be fully trained and tailored to their mission. For example, on overseas flights to Asia the airlines would employ Siamese Cats. In flights to Transylvania, Air Romania would use Scaredy Cats and in flying to San Francisco they’d use cats suffering from gender dysphoria. You get the idea. Heck, in Egypt, whose culture lionizes cats already, Egypt Air has actually qualified cats to fly in the 2 seat. And while lionizing cats may seem redundant, it’s more sensible than hero worshiping at a deli.  


Much like service dogs, these specially trained cats would be very companionable and instead of wearing vests that read “Service Dog, Do Not Pet”, they’d wear vests saying, “Service Cat, Do Not Lick.” That is, except when they’re in Ireland flying on Aer Lingus. On Aer Lingus using your tongue is not only acceptable, but is actually encouraged. As you can probably sense, the rollout of this “Flying Tigers” program will be problematic – littered with litter and filled with fur balls. 


Not just any cat would be allowed to join this litter box version of the mile-high club. Qualified fuselage felines would be composed, mature cats who’d pitter-patter down the aisle with their tails high and their dander low. Vetting these little flying tigers would be rigorous. But who would do the vetting? Why veterinarians of course. But not just any veterinarians. Retired military veterinarians. In other words, veteran veterinarians would vet.


Once certified, these cats would provide a sense of grounding for the airborne: Logical? No. Effective? Yes. In fact, double-blind studies by the Ralston-Purina Institute for Wasting Shareholders’ Money prove that serotonin levels in humans spontaneously increase in the presence of cats. Of course these levels also increases in the presence of Oprah Winfrey, but as of yet there is no way to clone Ms. Winfrey and place her several doppelgängers aboard thousands of daily flights – plus she’d fit poorly on tray tables and seat backs. And although Stedman thinks it’s a good idea, she hasn’t given the go ahead. Just imagining thousands of Oprahs without a bellybutton is overwhelming. I’m told this double-blind test is suspect however, because everyone participating in it had no real vision.


Of course once aboard their flights, these service kitties would need to be safeguarded. So in the unlikely event of a loss of cabin pressure, I’m calling upon NASA to devise a little margarine cup that will fall from the overhead and be placed easily over the kitties snout so they may breathe normally – even if the little bag underneath is not inflating. And as the plane plummets earthbound, designated cat wranglers will be responsible for securing their oxygen masks first before seamlessly slipping an oxygen mask over the head of our ever-cooperative cat.  


These tubular tabbies would be trained to sidle up to feline friendly fliers for a little face smush or maybe a satisfying neck scruff. They’d provide a great sense of relief and serenity to fliers. Think of them as service dogs; except they’re cats at 37,000 ft. As fliers become more familiar with the Tranquilizing Tabbies program, the idea of petting an in-flight kitty will be as natural as going to the bathroom 7-miles high in the sky travelling at 500 mph with a wind chill factor of 140° just outside the tenth of an inch of aluminum fuselage separating you from instant death. Y’know, second nature stuff.   


Additional feline duties would be to ride atop the drink cart while it makes its way down the aisle, and to rid the plane of all rats – whether they have 4 or 2 legs. Some cats will be trained to walk down the aisle pulling a cute little trash bin for passengers to toss their uneaten snacks into. Others will just look gainfully occupied – like they’re aware of a quasar 30 million light years distant.


It should be noted that under no circumstances will kitties be allowed to congregate near the forward lavatory. If they do, a quick spray of water from a qualified flight attendant will quickly disperse them. This shouldn’t be a problem though, because their litter box will be kept in the rear galley where the food is prepared. Each passenger will be issued an eyeball safe laser pointer so they may direct a cat to the noisy blow-hole of a snoring passenger. In the unlikely event of a water landing, all kitties can be used as a flotation device – if you can figure out how to inflate one. Should an airborne kitty be unable to perform its duties, a flight attendant could retrieve another from a ready supply of felines kept in a clear overhead bin (pussy incubator) for release into the fuselage.

Once initiated, I believe this FAA sponsored program will improve the surface to air serenity of fliers everywhere. It’s like mental floss for the airborne. So whether you’re experiencing gender dysphoria or some other kind of mental anguish that makes you roll your eyes and say, “Really? How can this possibly be part of God’s plan?”, these airborne service kitties, these tubular tabbies, these fuselage felines will go a long way towards making you feel pleasantly catatonic.

And yes, I meant to do that.

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