Courtesy Karen Pascoe
Jack the cat, who was lost at JFK airport for two months before he was found, has died.
On Sunday, veterinarians in New York euthanized Jack, the cat who gained worldwide attention and more than 23,000 Facebook fans after being lost for two months, and then found, at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The news of Jack’s passing was reported in a statement posted on the Jack the Cat is Lost at AA Baggage at JFK Facebook page.
“Jack has gone over the rainbow bridge,” the statement said. “Jack had extensive wounds on the back of his body, and the wounds were unable to heal because his skin had deteriorated due to the malnutrition that occurred while he was lost.
“He needed surgery to treat the wounds,” the statement continued, “but there was not enough available skin to close the wounds after the surgery … The vet was very clear that she had conferred with every possible doctor regarding options for Jack, but none of them left him with a substantial chance of survival and all of them involved him suffering. Jack had been through so much, and the last thing anyone wanted was for him to suffer more.”
“This was a fight he could no longer keep up,” said Bonnie Folz, a Jack the cat search team member who was with him when he died. “FoJ (Friends of Jack) hearts are broken around the world … It’s a very sad day.”
Jack first got loose in the American Airlines baggage center at JFK on Aug. 25, after his owner, Karen Pascoe, checked him and another cat in to American Airlines as cargo. As American Airlines explained in an incident report filed with the Department of Transportation, while the kennels were waiting to be loaded on the aircraft, “the kennel positioned on the top fell to the ground. The impact of the fall caused the kennel to separate and the cat escaped.”
A day later, parts of JFK airport were shut down in preparation for Tropical Storm Irene. For two months after that, thousands of Facebook fans of Jack the Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK followed search efforts that included at least two Jack the Cat Awareness days, a pet Amber Alert and the hiring of a pet detective. Jack was finally found on Oct. 25 when he fell through a ceiling tile in the customs area at JFK’s Terminal 8.
On Sunday evening, American Airlines also posted a statement about Jack on its Facebook page. “We are deeply saddened that Jack the cat has passed away, and we offer profound sympathy to Jack’s owner, Karen Pascoe, for her loss. Our heart also goes out to the Friends of Jack and those in the cat-loving community who have grown fond of Jack since he went missing … From all of us at American, our sincere apologies to Karen and Jack’s family and friends.”