NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – After several years in New York City, Jack The Cat was bound for a new life in California with his brother Barry and owner Karen Pascoe.
That is, until his adventure took a wild turn which has sparked a social network lashing against American Airlines. The response has been so strong, the airline has gone as far as contacting Port Authority officials to help recover the missing feline.
On Thursday, Jack and Barry were kenneled and passed over to baggage handlers on Flight 177 from Kennedy Airport.
After clearing security, Pascoe — who was moving out west after 22 years in the Big Apple to start a new job — received a call from an airline employee who told her Jack was lost in the inbound baggage claim area.
Pascoe boarded a later flight with Barry after an hour-long search came up empty. She was assured that she’d get a phone call as soon as Jack was found.
Pascoe claims American Airlines finally contacted her Sunday, about 66 hours after she was told her pet was missing.
“I have to say it was really slow-moving to get a response from American and I get that there’s a backdrop of a hurricane,” Pascoe told 1010 WINS. “My cat’s lost, I’m in shock, it’s a total nightmare and they don’t call me for a couple of days.”
An employee told her they were actively searching for Jack but that “the last time this happened, it took about a month to find the cat.” Pascoe said the airline believes Jack is in the same area where he first went missing and that he’s still hiding there.
A Facebook page, “Jack The Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK,” has garnered nearly 1,400 followers.
The page is filled with prayers and advice from sympathetic pet owners and animal lovers.
“My kitties and I are praying Jack is returned to you safe and sound,” wrote Kourtney Howell.
Naturally, Jack is following in the footsteps of other headline-grabbing animals, and has his own Twitter account.
According to his profile, “I’m a sneaky little cat who got out of my carrier and away from my brother, Barry. I’m having the time of my nine lives!”
He’s been trying to offer some clues to his whereabouts tweeting, “I’m somewhere dark and wet.”
American Airlines is feeling the pressure on their Facebook page.
“All this extra security and you can’t be bothered to check your cameras to see EXACTLY what happened to Jack?!? Good to know. What else is going on behind the scenes that you don’t know or care about? But we’re supposed to feel safe and trust you with our lives, right?” wrote Jeremy Fritz.
“Where is Jack the cat????? WHY AREN’T YOUR PEOPLE LOOKING FOR HIM???????” Beverly King Cazort posted.
“I think AA should offer a REWARD to anyone rescuing Jack the cat. Money cannot go to employees or their relatives. AA started this mess and now you must end it. No time to cheap out here, guys. The damage this has caused is growing exponentially! Hopefully you will not delete this post… Can you be trusted? We’ll see…” Bonnie Wagner-Westbrook wrote.
Twitter users have also been voicing their concerns and critiques using #findjackthecat.
The airline has apologized for the incident and posted the following update in their search effort:
- American has offered Jack’s owner, Karen, a flight to New York to personally visit the JFK operation and help assist with search efforts.
- American has consulted with the Mayor’s Alliance Society for NYC to set up Have-A-Heart humane traps that are being placed throughout the area.
- Food and water has been placed around the operation since Thursday.
- If Jack feels comfortable returning to his kennel, we have placed food and water inside as well.
- Employees, including the American Airlines Managing Director in JFK, have walked the entire operation in search.
- All airside equipment, such as bag carts are being inspected.
- The Port Authority of New York has been contacted with information and posters. They are fully cooperating in the search and distributing posters to other businesses on the airport property.
- AA has placed posters in employee break-rooms, on the ramp, and throughout our JFK facility.
- An alert is being placed on electronic bulletin boards visible to all employees from all departments.
- “Vet Port” has been alerted and is supporting the effort. Vet Port is a veterinary service used by airlines and business local to the airport property where a lost pet would be turned in.
- Access from the airside ramp area leading into the terminal building are being inspected and monitored
Pascoe said Barry misses his brother.
“Barry is in a new apartment and moving is very hard for cats,” she said. “He’s probably confused. He misses his pal, his brother. I just want him found and home safe.”
Do you think American Airlines is doing enough? Let us know below…