A US security guard spotted a live feline trapped inside checked luggage at a New York airport – but safely got the cat out of the bag.
The ginger tabby was discovered at JFK Airport on Tuesday morning after an agent spotted some orange fur poking out of the suitcase zip.
A spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) told New York Post the traveller was not aware that he had a cat in his luggage.
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TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said in a statement the agent was “shocked” by the furry discovery in the luggage, which had been checked in and X-rayed.
“[The] traveller said the cat belonged to someone else in his household,” Ms Farbstein said.
In a picture accompanying the tweet, tufts of ginger fur were poking out of the black suitcase between the gaps of the orange zip, which had come undone.
On Twitter, the TSA had fun with the find.
“We’re letting the cat out of the bag on a hiss-toric find,” it tweeted. “This CATch had our baggage screening officers @JFKairport saying, ‘Come on meow!’ Feline like you have travel questions reach out to our friends @AskTSA.”
Ms Farbstein confirmed the cat was now back where it belonged.
Meanwhile, when tracked down by The Post, the pet’s owner, Alix, 37, from Brooklyn, said the cat – named “Smells” – must have crawled into their house guest’s bag while she was at work. She didn’t realise the orange tabby was missing until she got a call from an airport official.
“An officer called and asked if I wanted to press charges,” Alix told The Post.
“He wanted to know if there was any reason he was trying to steal my cat and go to Florida.”
But Alix reassured them it was a mistake.
“Our cats really like to check out bags and boxes and apparently one of them climbed into his suitcase. It was just an accident,” she said.
After getting the call, Alix’s fiance went to JFK to rescue the frazzled feline – only to discover the cat was entirely unbothered by the ordeal.
“I was worried he’d be freaked out but he wasn’t even meowing on the way back,” Alix said. “I went to give him some extra treats and he acted like nothing had happened.”
This story originally appeared on New York Post and is republished here with permission