Cat is Lost then Found at Philly Airport

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Another cat went missing at an airport last month; this time the story has a happy ending.

A kitten named Ando panicked and escaped into Philadelphia International Airport when TSA staff made him get out of his carrier during security check. Thankfully, he was found within a day or two and is flying home tonight.

One August 20 Maya Joslow was traveling back home to Oregon from Philadelphia when her new 10 month old kitten escaped and ran off. Ando jumped out of Maya’s arms when his carrier was being checked in the open screening area, then he ran down an escalator. He was discovered hiding below, but disappeared again before his carrier could brought down to secure him.

Maya was not happy with her experience with some of the TSA personnel, and was concerned for the missing cat.

WTXF FOX 29 spoke with Maya via Skype from her home in Portland, Oregon, when she said:  “Very angry. Felt like I wanted to explode,” due to the lack of immediate help from a TSA agent when Ando took off.  “If she couldn’t keep her post for her to get me immediate assistance, call a manager, put an announcement out over intercom.”

“I’ve had a pit in my stomach. I keep replaying the scenario over and over again. What if I had thought to have a harness.”

Maya acknowledged that the airport staff helped her search and posted a message on the visual paging system, alerting passengers to be on the lookout for the missing cat.

Maya flew home but her aunt, Sharon Wohlnuth, took over the search at the airport, passing out flyers and talking to passengers about the missing cat.

The core search team group of FOJs (Friends of Jack), from the Facebook page Jack The Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK, learned about the missing cat and stepped in to share their expertise and help with the search.

Ando went missing just a few days before the second anniversary of Jack’s disappearance at JFK Airport.  Fortunately, Ando’s story ended much differently from Jack’s. Jack was not found until he fell through ceiling tiles, near death from starvation. Despite medical intervention, he died shortly afterward.

A passenger saw Ando and recognized him and his story from the flyers being distributed by Sharon Wohlnuth.

Maya Joslow wrote at Reddit, where she received advice and support:

“The TSA Scared My Kitten Away! Help!”

“I was flying home [from Philadelphia to Oregon] yesterday with a new, 10 month old kitten my brother gave me at my family reunion. At the security check, I was instructed to take the kitten out of his carrier so they could x-ray it. The people at security neglected to inform me of my option to take the cat out in an enclosed space (I found out that this was an option afterwards). I passed with him through the scanner, and then the woman who was doing my security check wanted to swab my hands for explosives with the cat in my arms. I asked her to get the carrier first, and she slowly ambled over to retrieve it, at which point the cat bolted. It took hours to get any help, and the woman who was doing my security check did nothing to assist me. He is lost in Philadelphia and possibly still at the airport. He has all his shots and is microchipped. I’m heartbroken and feel so badly for the little guy. He is about 8 lbs, blue-gray with black spots and stripes, and has green eyes. He is no longer wearing his collar. Please PM me if you see him or have any information that might help. I’ve filed a complaint with the TSA.

“His name is Ando, but he doesn’t really respond to it yet. He does recognize it, though.”

The following day, Maya gave this update at Reddit:

“THEY FOUND HIM! He was hiding in a tiny hole in the wall in the airport bathroom. Somebody recognized him from the posters my aunt distributed. He’s had quite an adventure, but he’s safe and sound.

“I’m so happy he’s coming home.”

Jack The Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK  posted on August 22: “FoJs – many of you are aware that a cat was lost in the Philadelphia airport, and we found out yesterday. We were working with the family all day yesterday. I didn’t officially announce our involvement because there were some complications. We were informed last night that the cat was spotted in a ladies restroom – but it was the kind that didn’t have a door… Bonnie Wagner-Westbrook was in contact with the airport police and the owner’s aunt to offer advice. It is CONFIRMED that the cat was caught last night.”

“BTW – this was another case of a cat getting loose during the TSA screening process. If you have of ANYONE flying with a pet (cat or dog, in cabin or as cargo) please tell them they MUST REQUIRE PRIVATE SCREENING for their pet. The consequences are very intense if any the animal gets spooked.”

FoJ Bonnie Wagner-Westbrook wrote at Facebook:  “Yesterday was quite a day! Thanks to the lessons we learned because of Jack, we had a good course of action to follow. This loss was also handled almost immediately, which greatly improved chances of recovering little “August” [Ando] for his Auntie Sharon. Those we contacted were the right people who could and DID take action. Special thanks to the office of Mark Gale, CEO of the airport, Vicky Lupica (their PR person) and Renee Tufts (their security person), who went out with flyers – one of which was seen by the woman who first saw August in the ladies room and called the reach number -and especially, Sgt. Richards of their police unit, who briefed his people and responded immediately to the sighting in the ladies room. August was returned to his Aunt Sharon shortly thereafter. Finally, our WIJ “warriors,” Mary Beth Griffith Melchior and Bonnie Folz, for their “not on my watch” belief that we can make a difference for traveling pets. It is always a nightmare for them and for Karen Pascoe to re-live Jack’s loss two years ago on August 25th. And for our beloved angel Jack, you were there every human step of the way and every paw step of little August huddling terrified in a busy airport. All of this occurred as our letter to the TSA traveled on its way to Mr. Pistole… I’d say we had some over-the-top good karma this time.”Ando is flying home to Portland, Oregon tonight.  Jack The Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK expects to receiv photos of him safe and sound after his arrival, and says they will post them at the Facebook page.

Below is a news report on the story filed before Ando was recovered.

Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

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