Have you seen Jack the cat? According to his Facebook page, he’s been on his own in Queens for more than four weeks now. He allegedly disappeared from his carrier in the baggage area of New York’s JFK airport on August 24th, as he, his feline brother, and their human were flying to their new home in California. Employees searched for him. Then Hurricane Irene happened.
How was Jack lost?
The bottom line is this: we don’t really know at this time. Here is what we do know: On August 25, 2011, [Jack's human] checked Jack and her other cat, Barry, into the American Airlines system to fly on her flight, but travelling as “checked baggage.” Each cat was flying in its own crate.
She went through the TSA system with them, reloading them into their carriers and securing the carriers per AA policies. She then said goodbye to them and went up to the passenger area to have something to eat before the flight. Approximately 30 minutes after leaving the cats, she was called by a baggage supervisor to come back to the baggage area because one of the cats had been lost.
When she returned to the baggage area, she saw the empty carrier that had contained Jack. Barry was still secure in his carrier. After walking around the baggage area and calling for Jack for over an hour, [the owner] was advised to take the last flight out and they would call her as soon as they found him. She got on that later flight with Barry. Jack has not been seen since.
The Facebook fan page, which has become a clearinghouse for information about Jack, shares a timeline of events. There’s now no news and no sign of Jack, but searchers remain hopeful.
“We understand that a cat is a loved family member for so many, including many of our own employees, and we are doing our utmost to find Jack,” the airline told media back in early September. The airline has helped with the search effort, but the owner still traveled back to New York and hired her own pet detective with a sniffer dog.
Consumerist readers seem to be rather fond of animals. If you’d like to help the search effort, you don’t even need to live near New York. Volunteers have been searching the airport and surrounding areas, but also contacting local businesses to distribute flyers and raise awareness from thousands of miles away. Check out the Facebook page, which has 14,689 fans as of this writing, for updates and ways you can help.
Safe travels, Jack.