I suppose there are several ironies in respect to Phillip's excited declaration to his cat in Theodore Taylor's novel, The Cay. Most imporantly, the aircraft that Phillip hears (but cannot see) is not a rescue plane for him: It is a warplane, and quite possibly a Japanese fighter flying low above the palms, who chooses not to waste ammunition on a lone boy. Phillip's black smoke emitted by the fire has possibly attracted a killer, not a rescuer. More likely, it is an Allied craft who, after leaving, reports Phillip's location to authorities. The other irony is that Stew-Cat has already scattered from the terrifying sound, and being a cat, wouldn't have a clue why Phillip is so excited.