By Ivan Pereira
Jack the Cat, the feline that touched the hearts of thousands of pet lovers across the world when he was lost at John F. Kennedy International Airport for two months, did not survive to be reunited with his owner and his cat siblings on the West Coast, his vets announced. He was 5 years old.
The veterinarians euthanized the cat Sunday at a Manhattan animal hospital after they determined that the physical damage he suffered after he went missing was too severe, according to a spokeswoman for Blue Pearl vet centers, which had been caring for Jack since he was rescued at the airport on Oct. 25.
“Our doctors tried every possible thing, but his condition took a turn for the worse over the weekend,” Blue Pearl spokeswoman Joanne Lynch said.
His owner, Karen Pascoe, was with him during his final hours and was not available for comment Monday morning.
News of Jack’s death stunned the growing online community that has been following his story since his disappearance at the American Airlines terminal at JFK on Aug. 25. Hundreds posted on the Facebook page, Jack The Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK, which had more than 24,000 fans as of Monday morning following a Sunday posting that announced his death.
“That is so sad. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart is hurting. RIP sweet Jack,” fan Kathy Nix posted.
Pascoe was moving from Manhattan to the West Coast with Jack and his brother Barry when Jack somehow escaped his kennel in the terminal’s baggage room. Crews searched for weeks for the missing cat, but could not find him initially.
The Facebook fans and Pascoe would not give up hope and held “Jack the Cat Awareness” days when they combed the airport and pushed JFK employees to keep up the search.
Two months to the day he disappeared, Jack tumbled from the ceiling of the terminal’s customs room and was immediately taken away for treatment, first in Forest Hills and then in Manhattan, where he was transferred late last week.
American Airlines expressed its condolences to Pascoe for her loss on their Facebook page.
“From all of us at American, our sincere apologies to Karen and Jack’s family and friends. We also thank all of you who have provided support, ideas, kindness and understanding for Jack along the way,” the airline said in a statement.
Jack’s fans, however, blasted American for failing to keep Jack secure in the first place and many threatened on the company’s Facebook page to never use the airline’s services ever again.
“Nothing you can say to make this right. NOTHING!” Darlene Triplett Jones posted on the page.
Lynch said she does not know if there were any funeral arrangements for the cat.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.