Brave cat returns to owners after plane crash

Wit, hope and human compassion helped a pet to return to its loving family after a deadly plane crash that killed seven people and injured more than 12.

Once upon a time there lived a cat named Daisy, and her life was passing very smoothly – until an Antonov An-24 plane, with 37 people on board, crash in the Ob River in the Tomsk Region on July 11.

On the day of the crash, the cat was onboard with her owner, Vera Chernyshova. After the catastrophe, Chernyshova was taken to hospital. Her baggage, including the cat cage, was passed to her relatives, but as it turned out, Daisy had managed to escape the cage.

“The cage was open; Daisy might have knocked out the door, or it was knocked out during the harsh landing,” Chernyshova’s daughter told the Interfax news agency. “When the plane was lifted out of the water, we were told the cat was onboard. Due to extreme stress she grew wild and did not want to go out. The emergency workers tried to lure Daisy with food, but nothing helped. The next day they told us the cat ran away.”

But Daisy’s owners did not lose hope of finding their beloved pet. They begged local authorities to launch a search operation. One was launched, but it did not bear any fruits.

The family also contacted a photographer who had taken pictures of the plane crash. The photographer took the problem so close to heart that she spent days searching for the pet and posting ads on the street with Daisy’s photo.

“All the locals knew about our attempts to find Daisy,” said Chernyshova’s daughter. “On August 2, a local man saw a cat that resembled the pictures posted around the town. He was walking his dog not far from the river where the plane landed.”

The man immediately got in contact with the photographer, who called the owner’s family and brought them the missing pet.

Now Daisy is at home. Luckily, the cat is absolutely safe and sound; she eats a lot and sleeps well. The owners say the only thing the tragedy has changed is her character.

“Daisy used to be unsociable, but now she’s always keeping close to people,” the cat’s owner told a local TV station. “Still, our cat is perfectly okay – physically. We are very grateful to everyone who helped us.”

Vets say that Daisy needs rest and good food. They expected the cat to be more famished after three weeks of wandering around, but the fluffy patient evidently turned out to be resourceful enough to grab a couple of local mice.