If you’re reading this, you’ve presumably already seen the headline. Hell, that’s probably why you’re reading this to begin with. You see a headline about a woman on an airplane, breastfeeding a cat, and you can’t help but click, I don’t blame you. What even goes through your head when you stumble across something like that? Do you think about how society is doomed? Do you think about what the feeling of a cat’s sharp teeth biting into a nipple might feel like? Or does everything just seem to collapse in on itself and feel like all and nothing simultaneously? Let’s talk about it together and see if we can work through this, and find out if the world still has meaning.
So let’s start by making it clear- no one should ever be shamed for breastfeeding in public. Whether it’s to feed their child directly, or express milk for later, the backlash against breastfeeding is ridiculous and shameful. But when you’re breastfeeding a cat, well, now we’re getting into the realm of, “What the hell are you doing?”
The story seems a bit too ridiculous to be true, so let’s roll things back to where it all started. On November 23rd, 2021, this image began circulating around social media across various Twitter accounts and Reddit:
So what does this string of seeming nonsense in the picture actually mean? Well, it means there’s a Delta flight leaving Syracuse, NY headed for Atlanta, GA. While an official date of the flight has not been confirmed, it’s likely to have occurred sometime on or before November 2nd.
Newsweek reports that a flight attendant named Ainsley Elizabeth posted a TikTok video, where she mentions security having to meet the flight because of a woman breastfeeding a cat. The other information in the image is pretty straightforward, or you know, as straightforward as something can be for this kind of situation. The “REQ REDCOAT MEET AC” is referring to a request from air to ground that the Delta Redcoats meet the flight when it arrives.
What are the Redcoats? They are, according to Delta themselves in the most laconic description possible, “Delta’s elite airport customer service experts, identifiable by their bright red coats. They are specially trained to handle on-the-stop customer issues.” Beyond this, they’re also a clear sign of Delta’s revisionist history allegiance to a timeline where the British won the Revolutionary War, but that’s another topic for another time.
And so the passenger in 13A just starts breastfeeding her cat because…reasons…and wouldn’t put it back in the carrier when the flight attendant requested it. Which leads us to the question of why someone would nurse their own cat and have them suckle their bosom. Maybe they have a VERY close relationship. Maybe the cat was hungry, maybe the woman was just trying to warm herself up for when she got home to her baby, maybe the cat wouldn’t shut up and this seemed like the most effective strategy at the time. All I know is that I looked up on Google whether or not a human breastfeeding a cat is a good idea and to my non-shock, the answer was obviously “no, no it is not.”
If you want my theory as to why this happened, it’s because the flight was from Syracuse, New York. As someone who lives in upstate New York, about 45 minutes from that airport, I am fully qualified to tell you that this whole area is bizarre as hell. And I know you’re reading this and thinking, “But Nerdbot, you’re a news site, isn’t this straying away from news and into the area of personal opinion” and I would reply back to you, “Yes.” But I also feel like since we’re already on the subject of a mid-flight breastfeeding of a cat by a human, we are so far gone anyway that objectivity is out the window faster than Auric Goldfinger in a depressurized airplane cabin.
Upstate New York is a hellscape of weirdness masquerading as relative normalcy. Remember that NXIVM cult that Allison Mack was involved in? That’s upstate New York for you. You know how in “The Office” Dunder-Mifflin has that Utica branch? Yeah, they picked Utica because it’s the only place about on-par with Scranton in terms of being a rundown city that isn’t quite as bad as Silent Hill, but if you found out there was a serial killer roaming around there, you wouldn’t be shocked either.
When your only cultural significance is a couple of references on “The Simpsons,” a closed paper company branch on “The Office” and a college basketball team named after a color, (Syracuse Orange) maybe all you have left in your life is your pet. And yeah, maybe you and Mr. Tabbers do have a closer relationship than you probably should, but at least it’s something! So next thing you know you pop out a breast to feed him because it makes you feel alive and like there’s meaning in this world outside of the barren cultural wasteland that is Upstate New York. A place where every time you hear Tracy Chapman‘s “Fast Car” you feel like the song was about you, and that’s all the more reason why you took that flight to Atlanta, because you wanted that feeling that you could “be someone, be someone, be someone…”
Or maybe she wasn’t from central New York at all and she’s just a crazy cat lady. Either way, my research on the subject didn’t turn up anything else that happened after the plane landed so all’s well that ends well? If you want to hold onto a scrap of sanity though, remember that Delta never actually confirmed any of this happened, so maybe it’s all just an elaborate social media prank. If we do find out any thing else, we’ll make sure to keep you abreast of the situation.