NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After seven weeks, Jack the cat is no longer MIA.
On Aug. 25, Jack missed his flight to California after escaping from his kennel at the American Airlines baggage check area in Kennedy Airport.
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera with Karen Pascoe
Jack didn’t get very far. He was found in the customs room Tuesday by a U.S. Customs deputy inspector after falling through a ceiling tile, reports CBS 2’s Elise Finch.
“Instincts take over after a while I guess on any animal. They find a way to eat, stay alive, stay warm,” airport employee Angel Cruz told Finch
The airline said in a statement that “the vet has advised that Jack is doing well at present.”
However, CBS 2’s Finch has learned Jack is not doing all that well. Though the feline did survive his 61-day ordeal, he is in critical condition and he’s been given a 50-50 chance of surviving.
“He’s storing fat in his liver cells which is called hepatic lipidosis. That’s a pretty serious illness,” said Matthew Cooper of Blue Pearl Emergency Animal Hospital.
The diagnosis is the direct result of being malnourished for so long. Jack is on a feeding tube and being shielded from cameras, but supporters hope that after all he’s been through, this courageous cat has at least one more life left in him.
Veterinarians told Finch they’ll monitor Jack closely over the next three days. And they said if he responds well to treatment he will likely make a full recovery.
Owner Karen Pascoe was immediately informed that her pet was found. Pascoe will fly in from California for a reunion. The airline will pay for Jack’s flight home, 1010 WINS reports.
“It was two months to the day — it was like, ‘Wow, he’s been found,’” Pascoe told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.
Before boarding her flight, Pascoe received a call from airline employees on Aug. 25 telling her that Jack was missing. She boarded a different flight with her other cat, “Barry,” after an hour-long search for Jack came up empty.
According to an incident report, Jack and Barry were traveling in separate kennels. Baggage handlers had apparently stacked them on top of each other when Jack’s kennel fell allowing him to escape.
A Facebook page dedicated to Jack has gained more than 16,000 followers since he disappeared two months ago. Supporters organized “Jack The Cat Awareness Day” on Oct. 22 to spread the word about Jack to airport employees and to look around for the wayward feline.
American Airlines made several efforts to find Jack including distributing posters throughout the airport, placing food and water throughout the terminal, setting up humane traps and issuing a pet AMBER alert.
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