UNITED KINGDOM – Some of the Royal Navy’s most elite pilots have recently teamed up with some of the nation’s cutest kittens to make a charity calendar.
Following the very disappointing news that the Ministry of Defence has banned Royal Marines from stripping off for a different charity calendar, these pictures of pin-up pilots with darling would cheer anyone up.
The money raised from the calendar, which is on sale now, will go to help The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity in its mission to support sailors, marines, and their families for life.
A tiny kitten that had been rescued from the bumper of Lieutenant Nick Grimmer’s car in June was the inspiration behind the project.
Lt Nick, who flies Merlin helicopters with the squadron, also known as the Flying Tigers, is the one who discovered the cat, who is now affectionately known as Tigger, after driving 300 miles from Birmingham Airport to the base near Helston.
The 32-year-old stated: “I’d landed at Birmingham after a holiday and travelled via Bristol and Bath before arriving in Cornwall quite late.”
After getting out of his car, the lieutenant heard ‘purring’ but couldn’t find the source until the next morning.
“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,” he went on to say.
“I called up some of our air engineers who came and helped me to start dismantling my pride and joy.”
After taking off his rear bumper the lieutenant was greeted by the cutest tiger-striped kitten. Remarkably, the cat was completely unharmed after the long journey.
At the time the Flying Tigers explained that they would be more than happy to adopt their furry friend as their mascot if its owners were not able to be found.
According to Lt Nick, the place Tigger is most comfortable was laying in his “flying helmet, which is the only place he is able to sleep.”
The calendar was organized and shot in the squadron’s own personal time, around a busy schedule – with just half having just returned from sea and half about to deploy to the Middle East.
814 Naval Air Squadron’s primary duty is flying Merlin MK2 helicopters which have a primary role
Rebecca Saunders, who is events and community fundraising manager at The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), stated: “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 servicemen and women, and their families, are affected by separation due to deployment around the world.”