I have to admit, I didn’t think this story would have a happy ending. But, today on msnbc.com’s Overhead Bin, I was pleased to be able to report that Jack the cat, at large at John F. Kennedy International Airport since escaping from his cage in the American Airlines baggage claim area two months ago, has been found.
The cat got loose in the airline baggage center at JFK on Aug. 25, after Karen Pasco checked Jack and another cat in as cargo. A day later, parts of the airport were shut down in preparation for Tropical Storm Irene.
Since then, more than 18,000 Facebook fans of Jack the Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK have been following search efforts that have included at least two Jack the Cat Awareness days, a pet Amber Alert and the hiring of a pet detective.
“He was found when he fell through a ceiling tile at Terminal 8 and was discovered by Customs employees who turned him over to American Airlines,” said Pasco. “He’s in critical condition after being who knows where in the terminal for the last 2 months. He’s being administered fluids, has low blood pressure and is dealing with the effects of prolonged malnutrition. While the prognosis is good overall, he’s not out of the woods yet.”
American Airlines announced the news that Jack had been found on Facebook:
“American Airlines is happy to announce that Jack the Cat has been found safe and well at JFK airport. American’s team of airport employees have been focused on the search effort since Jack escaped on August 25, 2011. Jack was found in the customs room and was immediately taken by team members to a local veterinarian. The vet has advised that Jack is doing well at present.”
Pascoe is in California, but Bonnie Folz, a New York-based search coordinator, saw Jack shortly after he was found. “It was great to know it’s him and to know he’s safe,” she said. “He looked fabulous to me. His eyes are big and beautiful and bright, although he’s lost some weight and he needs some grooming. He’s on IV and is having some tests to make sure he’s OK.”
American Airlines said once Jack is ready to travel, the airline will fly him to California to be reunited with his owner.
In a report of the incident filed with the Department of Transportation and included in the Air Travel Consumer Report issued this month, American Airlines reported that, “The clerk responsible for transporting the kennels to the FIS area loaded one kennel on top of another, and while the kennels were stationary and waiting to be loaded on the aircraft, the kennel positioned on the top fell to the ground. The impact of the fall caused the kennel to separate and the cat escaped.”