Royal Navy pilots and kittens charity calendar
A 2017 charity calendar is bringing together some of the Royal Navy's most elite pilots with some of the UK’s cutest cats, all in the name of charity.
The Flying Tigers and Kittens calendar was produced by teams at Royal Navy Air Station Culdrose following the rescue of a kitten from the bumper of a Royal Navy pilot’s car, Lieutenant Nick Grimmer in June 2016.
All proceeds from the sale of the calendar will help The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity in its mission to support sailors, marines, and their families for life.
Lt Nick, who flies Merlin helicopters with 814 Naval Air Squadron (aka the ‘Flying Tigers’), discovered the cat – now affectionately known as ‘Tigger’ – after driving 300 miles from Birmingham Airport to the RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall.
“I’d landed at Birmingham after a holiday and travelled via Bristol and Bath before arriving in Cornwall quite late,” said the 32-year-old pilot. After getting out of his car, the young Lieutenant heard a purring noise but didn’t discover the source until the next morning.
“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. I called up some of our air engineers who came and helped me to start dismantling my pride and joy.”
After taking off his rear bumper the Lieutenant was greeted by a tiny tiger-striped kitten. Remarkably, the cat was unharmed after the long journey.
If they can’t find Tigger’s true owners, the Flying Tigers are more than happy to adopt their furry friend as their mascot. According to the Lieutenant, the place Tigger is most comfortable is in his “flying helmet, which is the only place he is able to sleep.”
Calendar to raise funds for sailors
The calendar was organised and shot in the squadron’s own personal time, around a busy schedule; with half having just returned from sea and half about to deploy to the Middle East. 814 Naval Air Squadron’s primary duty is flying Merlin MK2 helicopters that have a primary role of Submarine hunting.
Rebecca Saunders, Events and Community Fundraising Manager at The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), said: “We are delighted that 814 Naval Air Squadron chose to support the RNRMC in this way with such a fun calendar.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to share more of the story of Tigger as well as raise the profile of the work that the Royal Navy and Royal Marines are doing at a time of year where so many of the servicemen and women, and their families, are affected by separation due to deployment around the world.”
Calendars are available via https://www.rnrmc.org.uk/flying-tiger-kittens-calendar-2017