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No feline left behind? A live cat was found in checked luggage at JFK airport

By AYIE LICSI Published Nov 23, 2022 8:11 pm

Talk about a clingy cat. A New York City Transport Security Administration (TSA) agent spotted a live orange tabby trapped inside checked luggage at the JFK Airport.

The cat was found while the bag was put through the x-ray machine and was fortunately freed before the suitcase was loaded into the airplane's pressurized cargo hold.

TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein told NBC News that the cat did not belong to the individual with the suitcase. "It belonged to someone else in the household," she said, noting that the cat probably saw the bag open and jumped in without anybody seeing it.

"The x-ray machine is the cat's new best friend," the spokesperson tweeted.

One Instagram user by the name of Alex Augustyniak claimed ownership of the cat on Instagram, writing "that's my boy" in an Instagram story of a TSA post of the Nov. 16 incident.

The user also shared a video of the cat attempting to get into a suitcase and said, "proof that he just does this."

Animal behavioral expert from Cornell University Katherine Houpt explained the cat's behavior to NBC News, saying that cats love closed spaces. "I think one reason [is] that it's like a cat bed. Cats like spaces with barriers around it," she said.

The furry feline was safely transferred to a crate before travel.

On Instagram, the TSA reminded passengers to always check with their airline if they are pet friendly and to remove pets from bags.