Thrilled to announce Willow has been found @yvrairport! Thanks to @AirCanada agent for coaxing her out. On her way to the vet & then home.
— WestJet (@WestJet) October 7, 2013
WestJet posted the above tweet this morning to let the world know that a missing cat had been found. The cat’s petmom posted a similar tweet at 2 am Pacific / 5 am Eastern Time.
In an all-too-familiar occurrence, Kelli Seepaul’s two cats, Willow and Finnegan, got out of their carrier in an airport’s cargo area before boarding.
Kelli and the cats were set to fly from Vancouver to Toronto via WestJet last Thursday. The cats shared a sturdy carrier which Kelli shows to viewers in the video below.
Kelli was paged by the airline just before she boarded her flight, and was told he cats had escaped their carrier when ground handlers picked it up and the bottom fell out of it.
Kelli and airline staff searched the baggage area. Finnegan was quickly found and recovered. Willow eluded capture and disappeared.
Willow and Finnegan are closely bonded and had been abused before they were rescued and came to the Sqamish SPCA, where Kelli adopted them in March of this year.
Kelli was especially concerned for Willow because of the lingering effects of the abuse. Willow has become friendly and affectionate toward her family but still doesn’t like to be picked up.
“They were just leaving out food, hoping she would come out and they would catch her and I explained that you can’t just pick her up and catch her because she’s an abused cat,” she said.
“I just don’t know if they’re doing enough. Their priority isn’t to find my cats but it’s to do other things and I just … my priority is to find my cat that they lost.”
WestJet said it was doing everything it could to find Willow and called the incident extremely rare.
Finnegan was also worried about his missing companion according to Kerri, who said: “They’re always together — so he’s walking around the apartment calling for her.”
Thankfully, Willow was found within for days, with the help of an Air Canada employee who coaxed her out of hiding.
Willow is set to fly to Toronto to rejoin her family tonight.
Video report with Kelli Seepaul made before Willow was found: