Once upon a time, there was a clever cat who thought he was going on a trip from New York to Orlando. However, airport security nipped this cat's trip in the bud before it got off the ground.
According to a series of tweets shared by TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein, security agents at JFK International Airport were performing routine screening duties of checked luggage when they spied something unusual in the X-ray image: the outline of an animal!
That's when the bag was pulled for inspection by the agent, who was shocked to find an orange cat inside the checked bag, she explained. Fortunately, he was alive and well.
A @TSA officer was shocked to find an orange cat inside a checked bag at @JFKairport after it went through the X-ray unit. Traveler said the cat belonged to someone else in his household. On the bright side, the cat’s out of the bag and safely back home. pic.twitter.com/5XZVJLaZNm— Lisa Farbstein, TSA Spokesperson (@TSA_Northeast) November 22, 2022
According to an email sent by Farbstein to The Washington Post, the feline stowaway was discovered before a Nov. 16 outbound Delta flight to Orlando. Upon discovering the kitty, TSA officials notified the airline, who then paged the customer.
In her Nov. 22 tweet, Farbstein said the passenger claimed the cat belonged to someone else who lived in his house. He also told TSA officials the cat must have snuck into the bag without his knowledge.
We have to wonder what the security agents had to be thinking when they saw the cat's outline on their X-ray monitor. Here is exactly what they saw, though. TSA posted the image, along with an image of a security agent carefully inspecting the opened bag following the screening.
We’re letting the cat out of the bag on a hiss-toric find. This CATch had our baggage screening officers @JFKairport saying, “Come on meow”! Feline like you have travel questions reach out to our furiends @AskTSA. They’re available every day, from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. (ET). pic.twitter.com/LpIkLbAgzC— TSA (@TSA) November 22, 2022
Fortunately for the cat, TSA agents discovered him in the bag before loading it onto the plane. Temperatures can get pretty chilly in the baggage hold area of a passenger jet. For example, Air Canada keeps its regular cargo hold at about 45 degrees Fahrenheit/7 degrees Celsius. Also, baggage tends to get thrown around quite a bit when being loaded and unloaded into a plane.
TSA reported the cat made it safely back home and the passenger, after a one-day delay to deal with the feline kerfuffle, made it to his Florida destination without issue.
While this incident seems to be an accident, Farbstein suggested that passengers review TSA guidelines for pets and airline travel to avoid delays and to keep their beloved animals safe.