Rescued feline becomes star of Royal Navy charity calendar

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RELAXING in the arms of naval helicopter pilot Lieutenant Nick Grimmer, this cute little kitten is all set to cause a stir for a Portsmouth-based charity.

The fortunate feline hit headlines across the globe in June after surviving a 300-mile journey – clinging to the bumper of Lt Grimmer’s car.

Now the adorable moggy has paused for snaps with her new owner – all in aid of a fundraising calendar for the Portsmouth-based Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

The cat – now named Tigger – spent time with Lt Grimmer and his team at 814 Naval Air Squadron, known as the Flying Tigers, posing for calendar shots.

Along with some furry friends brought along to visit the squadron by a vet, the 814 team created a series of images which is now going on sale on www.rnrmc.org.uk

Rebecca Saunders, events and community fundraising manager for 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 service men and women, and their families, are affected by separation due to deployment around the world.’

The squadron operates Merlin Mk2 helicopters and hunts for submarines.

It will play a key role in protecting the navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, the first of which arrives in Portsmouth next year.

Lt Grimmer said his new pal was a hit with the squad. Explaining how the pair first met, he said he only realised Tigger was clinging to his car after he heard a ‘quiet meowing’.

Remarkably, the animal had been clinging on to the car from Birmingham Airport all the way to the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose near Helston in Cornwall.

‘I’d landed at Birmingham after a holiday and travelled via Bristol and Bath before arriving in Cornwall quite late,’ said Lt Grimmer, who flies submarine-hunting Merlin helicopters for a living.

‘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.

‘On taking off the rear bumper we were greeted by a tiny tiger-striped kitten.’

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