Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why Wasn't Jack The Cat Found Earlier?

After sixty one days, Jack The Cat has finally been found.  For those that haven’t been following the story, two months ago Karen Pascoe boarded a flight from JFK airport in New York bound for San Francisco with her two cats Jack and Barry stored in the cargo hold of the airplane.  But before the plane had taken off, she was shocked to learn that one of her cats, Jack, had somehow not made it on the plane.  But how did this happen?  And where was he?

At first it seemed like American Airlines was going to be extremely cooperative with Karen in the finding of the cat.  But if you look at it a little more closely, it seems that any cooperation they gave towards helping finding Jack was done to not tarnish their image in the public eye more than it was to actually finding the cat.
When people began deluging the American Airlines Facebook page expressing their disdain for how something like losing a cat could have happened, they began selectively deleting posts that were expressing any sentiment against the airline.  But at their credit, they set food out in the airport and set traps in the hopes of catching Jack if he was wandering around.  Also, they handed out fliers and organized search parties.

The search for Jack was done also through private people just trying to help out.  They searched the airport high and low, but didn’t turn up any results.  Part of this was due to the fact that American Airlines prohibited members of Jack the Cat search parties from searching certain areas of the airport.  Seemed like AA wanted to  sweep this whole thing under the rug as silently as possible; while carrying about the public image that their own private search was still on.  They weren’t exactly forthcoming in their cooperativeness.

Which brings me to this week.  Jack the Cat was found after he fell through a ceiling tile at JFK airport in an office for the Department of Customs and Border Protection.  In the same terminal he was lost in.  I sure hope that American Airlines doesn’t take any credit in finding Jack.  He kinda found himself.  Now, this is more evidence that points the finger at AA for not doing as thorough of a search as they could have.
They clearly don’t take the advice they give us when we fly.  The cat fell out of a ceiling tile.  It never occurred to them to check the ceiling.  Isn’t this the same business that employs people to specifically tell us to look in the overhead bins to make sure we didn’t lose anything?  They tell us this to make sure we didn’t lost an umbrella or an Ipad.  Well, they lost a whole cat and they didn’t even bother looking above their own eyebrows.  They could have found him weeks ago if they would have just gotten a ladder and a flashlight.

Right now, Jack is sitting in critical condition in a vet’s office in New York due to fatty liver disease, which is caused by malnutrition.  They are giving a 50/50 chance on if he will actually survive.  But he could have been found earlier if American Airlines just used their heads and looked above their own.

Who knows if any legal action will result from this directed toward American Airlines.  But it definitely should raise some concerns towards every major airline in the way they handle pets in cargo holds.  Both of Karen Pascoe’s cats were apparently stacked on top of each other and Jack got loose.  There should be an across the board reform in the handling of pets on airplanes because of this case.  It’s not the first time it’s happened, and it will not be the last until the airlines realize that the beloved family pet should be treated with a little bit more care than a Samsonite bag.


  1. Hey Dan - well done! You're getting lots of love on Jack's FB page!

  2. Well said, Dan! Now that Jack has been found, we do need to take the next step. I agree with your statement that there should be reform in the handling of pets by the airliners. The poor handling of Jack's situation by AA in spite of immense public pressure suggest it is going to take a large reaction from the public to make this change happen. From a former Michigander.

  3. You said what I've been saying all along! According to a "press release" today from Newsweek, Jack's real issues are some infected skin wounds. Are we being told the real truth from American Airlines? I cat that simply scampers off, usually doesn't suffer serious skin injuries. Just how did these injuries occur? Why wouldn't AA allow the cat's owner to see the pet carrying case after the cat "escaped"? Did the case merely fall allowing the door to open and the cat escape? Or did some "accident occur that damaged the crate and Jack as well? Lots of questions here. For now, let's all hope that Jack pulls through and is reunited with his "Mom" real soon!

  4. Actually, the cats were not "stacked on top of each other". The other cat rode in the cabin with Ms. Pascoe, and Jack was relegated to freight.

  5. Actually Iknowitall, as a FOJ from the start of the 2nd week, the cats were both too big to ride in cabin so they had to be checked in as cargo. Jacks crate was in fact stacked on top of Barrys crate on the cart and when it was moved Jack's crate fell and broke open. There were zip ties on the door. She did get the crate back after some time. AA did not tell her what happened,but all airlines must file an incident report with the FAA so that is how Karen found out just recently how Jack had got out.Because of Hurricane Irene coming, AA advised Karen to take the last flight out to SF with Barry (who did in fact fly in cargo)and they would call her. After she made numerous calls with no response, she got a call from AA 66 hrs later telling her they had not found Jack. Jack has some serious health issues from lack of food and water for 61 days but he is alive and fighting for his life. You can visit "Jack the Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK" for the full story under info.
    Debbie McClendon

  6. In this country, so torn be divisiveness, it is heartwarming to see people from not only The US but from around the world pull together for a common cause.

    Now if we could only get that spirit into our politics.

    Maybe if one of the members from Congress could get lost in cargo we could have a happy ending to our political woes.

    Jack will never know the catalyst he has been to bring together the best in people.

  7. Great article Dan. Jack is now showing us what a brave soul he is. We all hope he will get well soon because, as you say, he never should have gotten sick in the first place.