The cat, aptly named “Rowdy”, escaped from his kennel after his Lufthansa flight arrived from Germany on June 24, according to a press release from the airport.
Rowdy roamed the airport for a total of 20 days before he was finally captured with a trap set by staff on Wednesday, the airport said.
“Whether it was out of fatigue or hunger, we will never know, but this morning, she finally let herself be taken,” the airport said in the press release. “Rowdy’s research has become a community effort, with everyone from construction workers to airline staff constantly on the lookout in hopes of a positive outcome.”
The airport turned Rowdy over to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, and she is expected to be reunited with her family around 10 a.m. Saturday, the airport said.
Patty Sahli, Rowdy’s owner, told CNN the dashing feline has always had an “energetic” personality. “She would fly everywhere,” she said. She adopted the kitten four years ago for her daughter, who is currently attending college in Pennsylvania.
The accident happened in the middle of a transatlantic relocation. After 16 years of living in Germany, Sahli and her husband made the decision to return to the United States to be closer to their family. In May, Sahli flew to Florida with the couple’s other cat, an 8-year-old rescue named Iggy. Then, in June, her husband followed with Rowdy, who was placed in the hold of the plane.
When Sahli arrived at Boston Logan International Airport to meet her husband and the cat, she received a call from him with bad news. “As they unloaded the cargo section, her transporter’s door fell off and she fled chasing a bird,” Sahli said. “Three people tried to chase her away but they weren’t successful.”
A three-week rescue operation followed, with Sahli contacting local animal shelters and animal welfare organizations for help. Sahli said officials from Massport, which operates the airport, told her they believed Rowdy was likely in an underground part of the airport where conveyor belts transported cargo. So airport staff set up cages in hopes of catching the elusive cat, with Rowdy’s favorite “Temptations” treats and Sahli and her husband’s shirts to entice Rowdy using their familiar scent.
Finally, Rowdy was caught with a trap set in an area where several workers had reported sightings of the cat.
“We’re so happy it’s a happy ending,” Sahli said. “I couldn’t think of what would happen if we never found her, or if she was hurt.”
Animal Rescue League staff shared post-capture videos of Rowdy with Sahli, who said she “looked cool as a cucumber in that rescue center.”
Sahli expressed her gratitude to the Animal Rescue League, Massport, construction workers, Lufthansa and everyone who helped locate Rowdy.
“Everyone was personally interested and everyone was so happy when it happened,” she said.
“I can’t wait to see it,” she added. “I’m so happy it turned out that way.”