After spending two months prowling the ins and outs of John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jack the Cat was found safe and sound and is set to be returned to his owner.
American Airlines officials said they found the fugitive feline Tuesday night at Terminal 8’s customs room. The cat had been on the loose since Aug. 25 when it somehow broke out of its kennel before it was placed on a flight from New York to San Francisco.
His owner, Karen Pascoe, who was moving from Manhattan to the West Coast, said her cat made itself known to the airline’s team who was searching for it.
“He dropped from the ceiling, so he was basically hiding in the ceiling or the HVAC vents,” she said in a phone interview. “He kind of fell into the American folks.”
Jack was taken immediately to the airport’s vet center and vets scanned a special chip that was implanted in his collarbone to confirm that he was the missing feline, according to American officials.
As of Wednesday afternoon he was being observed at a vet center outside the airport for some health issues, including malnutrition and dehydration, but he was expected to make a full recovery and not suffer any serious long-term health effects, according to Pascoe.
American is planning to fly Jack out to California once he is given a clean bill of health and when he arrives there, he will be treated to a surprise, according to his owner.
Over the weekend Pascoe adopted another cat named Nilly to provide a new companion for Jack’s feline brother Barry, who was on the August flight with his owner.
“I was taking the new cat to the vet last night and that’s when I got the call about Jack,” she said.
She was not the only one who was excited about Jack’s rescue. The Facebook group Jack The Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK,” which had more than 16,500 fans as of Wednesday afternoon, was filled with messages of relief and joy following the announcement.
“I’m beyond happy that Jack was found especially once people started losing hope and wanting to give up. Just shows the power of a loving owner and determined animal lovers coming together to reunite a family,” Tracy Michelle, one of the fans, posted on the page’s wall.
The group had organized two “Jack the Cat Awareness days” during the last two Saturdays where they combed the airport and urged airport crews to keep their eyes open for the cat. American administrators said they were grateful for the supporters’ efforts during the long search,
“We thank the friends of Jack for their ongoing search efforts outside the JFK perimeter and share everyone’s relief that he has been found,” American spokesman Jonathan Price said in a statement.
Pascoe also gave her regards to the thousands of people who were touched by the story.
“The community of folks that were following this story is what got Jack found,” she said. “They have been an amazing group of folks that I have been working with.”
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@c
©2011 Community News Group
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