Security personnel at a New York City airport were recently shocked to discover a rather unusual item packed in the luggage of a passenger checked in for a flight. Before the luggage was to be loaded onto the plane at John F Kennedy International Airport, a security guard discovered a live cat in the suitcase after it went through an X-ray machine at the airport.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) took to Twitter and shared a series of photos, calling the find “hiss-toric.” “We’re letting the cat out of the bag on a historic find. This CATch had our baggage checkers @JFKairport say, ‘Come on meow’!” TSA wrote in the caption.
We let the cat out of the bag on a historical find. This CATch had our baggage checkers @JFKairport saying, “Come on meow”! Felines like you have travel questions, contact our furiends @AskTSA. They are available every day from 8am to 6pm (ET). pic.twitter.com/LpIkLbAgzC
— TSA (@TSA) November 22, 2022
According to NBC news, the potential tragedy of the orange cat was discovered on Nov. 16 when a bag was checked from JFK to Atlanta for a connecting flight to Florida. “The cat didn’t belong to the person with the suitcase, but to someone else in the household,” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein told the outlet.
Authorities said the cat climbed into the luggage undetected as the passenger packed, before being unknowingly zipped inside, taken to the plane and checked in. But thankfully, once the X-ray machine spotted the cat, the luggage was opened and the cat was rescued safe and sound, officials said.
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Separately, Ms. Farbstein also tweeted: “A @TSA officer was shocked to find an orange cat in 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 plus side, the cat is out of the bag and back home safely.”
A @TSA officer was shocked to find an orange cat in a checked bag @JFKairport after it passed through the x-ray unit. Traveler said someone else’s cat was in his household. On the bright side, the cat is out of the bag and home safe. pic.twitter.com/5XZVJLaZNm
— Lisa Farbstein, TSA spokesperson (@TSA_Northeast) November 22, 2022
Meanwhile, according to the outlet, Cornell University professor emeritus and animal behavior expert Katherine Houpt explained the reason cats generally climb into bags. “I think one of the reasons is that it’s like a cat bed. Cats like spaces with barriers around it. And presumably it smells like the owner and I think they associate it with imminent loss. They may not necessarily want to prevent that that owner go, but maybe they want to at least signal stress,” she said.
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