The Story of Jack the CatPublished November 9, 2011
Jack the Cat has passed on to the Rainbow Bridge.
In spite of all the heroic measures taken to try to save his life using feeding tubes, administering antibiotics, IV fluids and surgery, the extent of the damage to his body was so devastating that veterinarians finally recommended that Jack be euthanized. He was suffering too much and further treatment would have proved far too painful. Sadly, Jack was put to sleep on Sunday.
Despite the sad ending, his story is one that won’t soon be forgotten.
The Story of Jack the Cat: The Beginning
Jack the Cat’s story began last August, as owner Karen Pascoe was preparing to board a flight to California. Pascoe had dropped Jack and her other cat at the baggage area in two carriers, for shipment on her flight.
I can’t even imagine how frantic Pascoe must have been when she received a phone call from officials from American Airlines, informing her that Jack, her beautiful copper-eyed orange Norwegian Forest Cat, had escaped from his carrier.
The Story of Jack the Cat: Becoming Lost
So how did Jack manage to escape? According to an October 13 Department of Transportation Pet Incident Report, a clerk stacked Pascoe's two carriers one on top of each other. When the top carrier fell, the wily cat escaped.
Soon after Jack was lost, Pascoe created a Facebook page to use as a platform to help find the cat. Petside carried the story and hoped the cat would soon be found along with a link for updates to Jack’s Facebook page.
The Story of Jack the Cat: Miraculously Found
A news item on the New York Times website on October 25 reported that Jack the Cat had miraculously been found 61 days after he went missing. According to the report, Jack the Cat fell through the ceiling of the customs area in Terminal 8 at JFK International Airport. At the time, it seemed that a happy ending was close at hand for both Jack the Cat and his loving owner.
Jack was taken immediately to a veterinary hospital in Queens, run by Blue Pearl Veterinary Services, and then transferred the next day by pet ambulance to the Blue Pearl hospital in Manhattan for intensive veterinary treatment.
The Story of Jack the Cat: Passing on to the Rainbow Bridge
After being found, Jack was (according to various outside sources) diagnosed with fatty liver disease, a disease that cripples the feline liver and devastates the rest of the feline body. Due to his severe malnutrition and dehydration, Jack's skin tore easily, putting him at great risk of infection and organ failure. Dr. Meredith Daly, an intensive care veterinary specialist who was treating Jack said, "Forty to sixty percent of his body area was affected by devitalized tissue, tissue without blood flow.”
Jack the Cat was suffering and any more procedures would have prolonged that suffering. Sadly, the decision was made to have him euthanized.
A post on Jack’s Facebook page that let fans know that Jack had gone over the Rainbow Bridge appeared Monday titled RIP Jack. It read, “Jack had been through so much, and the last thing anyone wanted was for him to suffer more. We thank everyone who has gone on this journey with us.” The post garnered over 3,000 Facebook comments.
American Airlines offered their "sincere apologies to Karen and Jack's family and friends.” The statement read, "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.”
All of the veterinary costs and Pascoe's flight to visit Jack were covered by American Airlines.
Jack the Cat’s story highlights the dangers of shipping pets. In light of the number of pets that manage to escape or get misplaced, I will never ship my cats. By hook or crook, they will travel with me in the cabin.
Would you ship a pet in baggage? Share your thoughts in a comment.