Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Elusive cat at Kennedy Airport finally caught

New York Daily News:-  The cat’s in the bag!

An elusive cat that’s been roaming Kennedy Airport for a week after escaping her carrier was finally captured early Saturday after a friend of the owner who spoke the bilingual feline’s preferred language was able to coax her out of hiding.

Nuan Tang, a friend of the owner of the cat — named Pepper — who had cared for the animal on occasion joined Port Authority cops on the hunt for the elusive 4-year-old tabby at JFK’s international terminal at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

Tang had a secret weapon — she knew Pepper’s Mandarin name, Dai Meng.

Within 15 minutes, Pepper, apparently recognizing Tang’s voice — and her Mandarin name — poked her head out from her hiding place.

Some food was enough to lure her all the way out to an awaiting cat carrier.

Pepper’s 29-year-old owner was relocating from Jersey City to China when she checked into her flight with her beloved pet at about 11:30 a.m. on April 20. Pepper’s carrier fell and popped open — and the cat bolted.

 The fearless feline jumped onto the check-in counter, then leapt onto the low roof of the check-in kiosk and disappeared.

Much like a wandering spirit, Pepper was repeatedly spotted in the terminal throughout the next week, only appearing early in the morning, usually around 3 a.m., looking for something to eat.

On Wednesday, Farhani Hamid of PAX Assist, a company that helps handicapped commuters navigate airport terminals, spotted Pepper at the international terminal.

Buoyed by confirmation that the black, white and grey-colored critter was still in the terminal, Port Authority Police Patrol and Emergency Services Unit officers, along with Port Authority Wildlife personnel, intensified their search.

Cops managed to shoot video of Pepper wandering about and got a photo of her hiding in the terminal’s ceiling ducts. But the cat always remained an arm’s length away until Saturday, when the owner’s friend joined the search.

Port Authority Police Officer Kameel Juman, who had spearheaded the search for Pepper, enlisted Tang’s help and managed to finally snare the cat.

Tang will take care of Pepper until the cat can be reunited with her owner, police said.

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