This Long Island cat still has nine lives after spending three weeks dodging planes at JFK Airport, where it ran away from a flight carrying its owner to Italy.
Salvatore Fazio checked Ettore into cargo when he boarded his plane at the end of August, but the Mastic Beach resident found out later that his cat had not crossed the pond with him, Patch reported.
Ettore apparently escaped from a carrier and spent the next three weeks roaming the runways as volunteers conducted a search.
Social media users who learned of the missing pet reached out to John Debacker, VP of animal rescue group Long Island Cat Kitten Solution, who told the news outlet that getting permission to scour an airport tarmac is no easy matter.
“It was quite difficult to get clearance. My friend Teddy Henn and I were hanging flyers in the terminal when a Port Authority worker noticed a collar found near the runway’s edge by the water matched the flyer description,” he told Patch.
The Port Authority eventually granted the rescuers access to the busy airport to look for the furtive feline.
“At first, we were losing a little hope catching Ettore because it’s been so long and we didn’t know what could have happened to him,” Debacker told News 12 Bronx.
“After the collar was found, we thought he could have been attacked or he could have even drowned since it was right near the water,” he added.
A humane trap Debacker set up finally caught the elusive cat, who was seen in an image snapped by a camera the group also left at the scene. After receiving an alert from the camera, he went to pick the cat up at 1 a.m.
Other than losing a few pounds and picking up a few scratches on his nose, Ettore is otherwise healthy and is staying with Fazio’s girlfriend to wait for his owner to return from Europe in a few weeks.
“The owner was very happy,” Debacker told Patch.