It’s a tale of two cities: one in Italy, where Salvatore Fazio landed, and the other in America, where his pet cat ran free.
Fazio’s cat, Ettore, escaped from a plane bound for Italy at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Long Island. In late August, Fazio had checked Ettore into cargo and boarded the plane himself, according to the New York Post. But Ettore busted loose from his carrier and survived for three weeks on the airport runways.
Thanks to the help of social media users and some dedicated volunteers, Ettore was found alive this month, with scrapes on his nose and considerably thinner, but otherwise none the worse for wear.
Cat Roams the Runways for Three Weeks While Owner Seeks Help
Fazio took to social media to bemoan his predicament. Luckily for him and Ettore, his fellow social media users promptly leapt into action. And they eventually got the attention of John Debacker from the animal rescue outfit Long Island Cat Kitten Solution.
Debacker explained to Patch that it was not easy to obtain permission to search the runways. But they got some help from a Port Authority worker.
“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 said.
Port Authority finally gave them permission to scour the runways for Ettore, but they were losing hope.
“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 said, per 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.”
Ettore Makes It Home
But Debacker finally hit on a winning solution. He set a humane trap, a large cage with bait in it, for the wily cat. And his group left a camera there in case they caught something. Sure enough, Ettore made his way into the trap, and the camera sent Debacker an alert. He hustled over to the airport to pick the cat up at 1 a.m.
Ettore had suffered several scratches on his nose. And he had lost some weight during his ordeal. But he was otherwise fine, despite the presence of heavy machinery and dangerous planes on the runways.
The cat is staying with Fazio’s girlfriend while he waits for his human to return from Europe in a couple weeks. Fazio, needless to say, was very happy at the prospect of being reunited with his resilient feline.