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Tue, Nov 08, 2022

Litter o’ Kitties Found in Museum Display

Family of Cats Found Nesting in Hickory Aviation’s Shooting Star

Hickory Aviation Museum staff investigated some unusual sounds emanating from their static display T-33, quickly discovering a litter of kittens living within the cockpit of the aircraft. 

The North Carolina museum was able to put a face to the noise when the first of the now-grown kittens began to totter into view over the cockpit edge. In a post announcing the discovery, Hickory said "Not only do we battle rain, wind, heat, wasps, and birds, one of the cats that roams the airport near the terminal decided to have kittens in the T-33 Shooting Star! If anyone is looking for a kitten, please stop by during museum hours and inquire. This is why we need to build the museum to get our aircraft indoors!!!!"

After finding the full litter, the facility received help from the Catawba County Humane Society, allowing all 5 kittens to have a solid start in life with a battery of vaccinations and care. For now, the litter will stay at the society for a few more months before being neutered and made available for adoption. Catching their mother, Phantom, however, had proven to be an ordeal. The seasoned, wily kitty had been a fixture at the nearby Hickory Regional Airport for quite some time. Humane Society staff said she’d been able to outsmart a number of their traps time and again before finally slipping up to be rejoined with her litter. 

“I would very securely say that these are the only T-33 trainer kittens in the world,” said aviation museum general manager Buford Barnett. “They have a lot of experience in the airplane.”



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