Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The stowaway kitty

The last time cat-owner Kelly Levy saw her tiger-striped feline was before she took her husband to the airport. The 24-year-old came back to her house late Friday to find the bottom step, where Gracie Mae would usually be waiting, empty.

Levy tore the house apart looking for the 10-month-old tabby who had been spayed just days before. She and her dad took out bathroom tiles and part of a cabinet to check a crawl space and papered the neighborhood with "lost cat" signs.

Then she got a phone call.

"Hi, you're not going to believe this, but I am calling from Fort Worth, Texas, and I accidentally picked up your husband's luggage. And when I opened the luggage, a cat jumped out," Levy recalled the caller saying.

Gracie Mae had crawled into Seth Levy's black suitcase undetected, been put through an X-ray machine, loaded onto an airplane, thrown onto a baggage claim conveyor belt and picked up by a stranger.

I'm surprised this has never happened with our cat. Every time I've traveled, she has curled up inside my suitcase while I've packed. I make a point of double checking it before I zip it up because I know she'd destroy the contents of the bag if she ever got trapped in there for a flight.

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