Jack Is Healing But He’s Not Out of the Woods Yet


Jack the Cat has been all over the news since he was found on Wednesday after being missing for more than two months. I’ve been keeping up with this story, so, to close the week on a happy note, I thought I’d give you some updates.

A lot of people have wondered how Jack managed to appear. He literally fell through a ceiling tile in the customs office at the American Airlines terminal where he went missing.

I had a feeling that Jack would have instinctively fled into the ductwork and gone to a place as high and as far away from the hubbub of the baggage area as he could, so it’s not surprising that Jack found himself taking refuge in a ceiling. I don’t think it’s even possible to look in the plenum space above every suspended ceiling in the American Airlines terminal, so he probably never would have been found if that tile hadn’t given way.

Jack is still in the care of BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Queens, the emergency and specialty clinic where he was taken by American Airlines staff. On Wednesday night he was listed in critical condition because of his severe fatty liver disease, a natural consequence of months of malnutrition. The clinic staff is tube-feeding him, giving him medications via IV, keeping him hydrated, and working to get his body temperature and blood pressure back to normal.

Veterinary internist Nicole Pacifico says Jack has about a 50-50 chance of surviving the illness. Things are starting to look better, though; his body temperature and blood pressure are improving, and he’s getting more interested in eating.

Jack’s condition became stable enough that the vets were able to operate on him yesterday and repair some life-threatening skin wounds on one leg. He’s currently under cage rest and is being shielded from the lights and noise of TV news crews as they cram into the clinic to report on the miracle cat’s survival.

American Airlines has agreed to fly Jack’s owner, Karen Pascoe, to New York City so she can visit her beloved furry friend. The Los Angeles Times reported today that the airline says it will foot the bill for Jack’s veterinary care and, if asked, will offer free transportation for Jack and Pascoe when the cat is healthy enough to travel.

An update on Jack’s Facebook page yesterday read, “I am beyond thrilled that we now know where he is, and that he is being given the best of care to recover from this ordeal. And I am absolutely, completely overwhelmed by the number of people who have taken moments out of their busy days to give Karen and I a virtual hug during this very challenging time. Please continue to send love & light to this fierce furball who has shown us both the horrors of air travel for pets, and the wonders that can happen when people give of themselves so freely. Blessings to Jack, and blessings to all FoJs!!!!”

In case you’re not sure, “FoJ” stands for “Friend of Jack.”

In another bit of good news, it seems all the cats rounded up in the search for Jack are awaiting adoption or have had “rescue holds” placed on them. Thanks to all the people and organizations who stepped up, the cats at New York City Animal Care & Control won’t be killed. Not only that, but a number of people are interested in Jackie the cat, who’s still living at JFK’s Vetport, and two kittens that are being fostered by a local resident.

Here’s a video about Jack from NBC New York. There are a lot of inaccuracies in the backstory, not the least of which is that they say Jack “escaped” rather than “his crate fell off an improperly loaded baggage cart and broke, and the cat fled in terror,” but at least it’ll offer you some current footage of Jack, doctors’ comments on his condition, and some words from Karen Pascoe.

(In a reader? Watch the video here.)

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