Jack the cat

Jack the Cat euthanized

Jack, the cat lost, then found, at JFK, has died

On Sunday, veterinarians in New York euthanized Jack, the cat who gained world-wide attention and more than 23,000 Facebook fans after being lost for two months, and then found, at JFK International Airport.

The news of Jack’s passing was reported in a statement posted on the Jack the Cat is lost at AA Baggage at JFK Facebook page:

“Jack has gone over the rainbow bridge,” the statement said. “Jack had extensive wounds on the back of his body, and the wounds were unable to heal because his skin had deteriorated due to the malnutrition that occurred while he was lost.

“He needed surgery to treat the wounds,” the statement continued, “But there was not enough available skin to close the wounds after the surgery… The vet was very clear that she had conferred with every possible doctor regarding options for Jack, but none of them left him with a substantial chance of survival and all of them involved him suffering. Jack had been through so much, and the last thing anyone wanted was for him to suffer more.”

Jack first got loose in the American Airlines baggage center at JFK on August 25, after his owner, Karen Pasco, checked him and another cat in to American Airlines as cargo. As American Airlines explained in an incident report filed with the Department of Transportation, while the kennels were 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.”

A day later, parts of JFK airport were shut down in preparation for Tropical Storm Irene. For two months after that, thousands of Facebook fans of Jack the Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK followed search efforts that included at least two Jack the Cat Awareness days, a pet Amber Alert and the hiring of a pet detective. Jack was finally found on Tuesday October 25th, when he fell through a ceiling tile in the customs area at JFK’s Terminal 8.

On Sunday evening, American Airlines also posted a statement about Jack on its Facebook page that said, “We are deeply saddened that Jack the cat has passed away, and we offer profound sympathy to Jack’s owner, Karen Pascoe, for her loss. Our heart also goes out to the Friends of Jack and those in the cat-loving community who have grown fond of Jack since he went missing… From all of us at American, our sincere apologies to Karen and Jack’s family and friends.”

Update on Jack the Cat

Jack the cat – the kitty that escaped from his carrier in the American Airlines baggage claim area at JFK airport and was missing for almost two months – is still is in critical condition.

American Airlines is covering Jack’s medical expenses and brought his owner, Karen Pascoe, in from California to visit with Jack this weekend. According to Pascoe’s sister, Mary Beth Melchior, this past weekend Jack’s vital signs were improving. “His red blood cell count has gone up since his transfusion. While his condition is still not optimal, we are happy to see this progress and are looking forward to the day he can return home with Karen,” said Melchior.

You can follow Jack’s progress on the Jack the Cat is lost in AA baggage at JFK Facebook page

Jack the cat is stuck at JFK airport

Talk about being stuck at the airport.

[Update: August 31, 2011 2 p.m. west coast time: Jack still at large.]

For msnbc.com’s Overhead Bin I tracked down the story of Jack the cat today.

Jack has been on the loose in the American Airlines baggage center at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport for five days now and animal lovers on Facebook and Twitter are joining forces to urge the airline to get serious about finding this lost cat.

Here’s the story:

Karen Pascoe and her two adopted cats, Jack and Barry, were scheduled to fly American Airlines Flight 177 from JFK to San Francisco on Aug. 25, just ahead of Hurricane Irene. Pascoe was moving across the country with her two cats to start a new job in California.

The cats, too big to fit comfortably in one under-the-seat cat carrier, were flying in separate carriers as cargo. But shortly after the cats were checked in, Jack went missing.

“I said goodbye to cats and then went to get dinner,” said Pascoe. “And then I got a call from American letting me know Jack was out of the kennel.”

The cat didn’t appear when Pascoe went to the baggage area to call out to Jack. Pascoe had to leave without finding him because the other cat and the rest of her luggage were on the last flight to San Francisco. “That’s a giant baggage area, and he was nowhere to be found. At best I knew he was hiding somewhere,” said Pascoe.

Pascoe was assured the airline would keep looking for Jack and that she’d get a call with an update the next day. But no one called, and when Pascoe tried calling the baggage area on the weekend, no one answered the phone.

“I respect the fact that a hurricane was coming and things were a bit challenging,” said Pascoe, “but I didn’t hear from American until about 60 hours later.”

American’s silence prompted Pascoe’s sister to set up the “Jack the Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK” Facebook page over the weekend, which quickly attracted mor than 2,000 fans. Many pet lovers also posted notes on American Airlines’ Facebook page urging them to find Jack, prompting the airline to post a response about its efforts to find the missing cat.

“Our JFK employees are using a variety of methods to try to find Jack, including setting cans of cat food by his kennel,” American Airlines spokesman Ed Martelle told msnbc.com. “Additionally, we are working with the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City to assist in providing humane animal traps … We offer our sincere regrets for this incident and are doing everything possible to locate him.”

Pascoe credits Facebook and Twitter, and other animal lovers, with getting the airline to finally pay attention. She said she finally got a call from someone at American Airlines on Sunday and on Monday spoke with an assigned contact person in the airline’s central baggage claim department four times.

“I can’t help but feel a little frustrated that they didn’t have a better procedure in place,” said Pascoe, “but they’re finally stepping up and are on their game to help me.”

As of midday Tuesday, Jack the cat still hadn’t been found.