Posted by: gillarbuthnott | April 10, 2019

The Frustrations of Research…

220px-john_b__moisant_and_mademoiselle_fifiThe thing about research is that you have to find out much, much more than eventually makes it into your book, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. And sometimes you have to leave out some of your favourite discoveries.

This is a picture of a favourite I had to regretfully accept wouldn’t make it into print in the book I’ve just finished. Meet Captain John ‘Kitty’ Moisant and his pet – and co-pilot – Mademoiselle Fifi. Captain Kitty was an early aviator so devoted to his cat that she accompanied him on many of his flights (she may well have been the first cat to fly across the English Channel). He sometimes carried paying passengers, who had to cope not only with Fifi sitting next to them, but with the litter tray that Captain Kitty had installed in the cockpit for her convenience. (And you thought Ryanair was bad…).

Sadly, Captain Kitty died in a flying accident in 1910, but, looking on the bright side, Fifi wasn’t in the plane at the time, so was able to attend his funeral in this rather fetching mourning outfit…

GqudQKfActually, I feel Fifi deserves her own picture book… What’s not to like about a cat aviatrix?

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