NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — At long last! The pesky feline that’s been prowling the corridors of the nation’s busiest airport has been rescued.
The Port Authority Police Benevolent Association tweeted that officers rescued Pepper the cat in Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Police said Pepper escaped from her carrier when her owner was checking in for a fight to China earlier this month.
Pepper managed to run into the upper structure of the terminal, causing her owner to miss her flight.
Officer Kameel Juman, who the Port Authority says led the week-long effort to rescue the 4-year-old Tabby, enlisted the help of Pepper’s owner’s friend, Nuan Tang, to wrangle her in.
“Initially, I was just sad,” Juman told CBS2’s Reena Roy. “I just thought if I lost one of my dogs, I’d be very upset.”
“We were so devastated,” Tang said.
Authorities say since Pepper sightings were mostly in the early morning hours, Tang arrived at the airport at 1:30 a.m. Saturday to assist with the rescue.
“I really thought nothing was working, we had one other option,” said Juman.
Pepper immediately reacted to Tang’s voice as police say she called her by her Mandarin name Dai Meng. Police say Tang also enticed Pepper with some of her favorite foods.
“She came to me and started eating the food. So that’s when I grabbed her,” said Tang. “I was so happy.”
Officer Juman and Tang were able to grab Pepper and place her in her carrier.
“It was rewarding on my own but it was rewarding for everyone that was there,” Juman said. “Everybody was smiling from ear to ear that we found this cat.”
Pepper will continue to rest with Tang until her owner comes back to the United States to bring her to China.