8:36 PM

Cat, Out of Bag, Literally.

Many in my generation remember those old Esso ads telling us to "Put a Tiger in Your Tank" as a way to boost performance with their premium fuel. Not sure but I believe Esso morphed in Exxon, the oily pundits in the crowd can correct me on that if they wish.

And of course we all remember "Snakes on a Plane," a film I didn't waste money to see. Not a big fan of snakes here, thank you very much. So what do these two 'graphs have in common? This, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

"Careful, this luggage could bite. Zoo Atlanta officials said a cheetah that got loose in a Delta Air Lines cargo hold was resting comfortably Friday, a day after surprising a ground crew worker who went to unload bags at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The 1-year-old female cat, en route with another female cheetah from Wild Safari in Winston, Ore., to the Memphis Zoo, apparently got out of its crate during transport, said Delta spokesman Kent Landers."
See, they should have known those OREGON Cheetahs wouldn't want to be sent off to Memphis. Those cats probably had it made down in Winston – not that far south of my home base – where carloads of touristas drive by daily gawking at "wildlife" at Wild Safari. I guess the whole scene got pretty weird the minute a Delta baggage handler popped the cargo hold door of the -57 and got the surprise of her life, according to ANN:
"A Delta Air Lines baggage handler received an unwelcome surprise Thursday when she opened an airliner's cargo door and discovered a cheetah had escaped its cage and was loose in the cargo hold. The condition of the startled baggage handler is not known, but the AP reports good news for passengers of the flight: The cheetah did not damage any of their luggage."
So once the cat was out of the bag (could...not...resist...pun), it took some swift thinking by Delta crews to figure out what to do next. Again, from the AJC:
Delta brought the jet into an enclosed hangar and called Zoo Atlanta “to make sure all the precautions were in place to take care of the employees and the cheetahs,” Landers said. Dr. Sam Rivera, a Zoo Atlanta veterinarian, shot the 90-pound kitty in the shoulder with a tranquilizer gun.
At last report, say numerous sources, the cats were seen to be "very relaxed" and were "eating" something, hopefully not a gate agent.

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