A cat who escaped from her carrier at a New York airport last week has been found safe and is set to be reunited with her owner.
Pepper, a 4-year-old brown tabby, was traveling on April 20 with her human, who was moving from New Jersey to China, the New York Daily News reports.
While the owner was checking in, Pepper’s carrier fell and opened. The spooked feline ran out into the “upper structures” of John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 4, according to a tweet from the union for the Port Authority Police ― a police force that oversees regional transportation in New York and New Jersey.
Over the past week, people repeatedly spotted Pepper from a distance — typically coming out in the early morning hours apparently searching for food. The Daily News called her a “phantom-like cat” after Port Authority police shared a picture on Thursday in which her eyes appeared to eerily glow.
Police said in the same tweet they were putting out humane traps baited with food, but their efforts were unsuccessful until Saturday. Nuan Lang, a friend of Pepper’s owner, assisted in the rescue.
While the owner — whose name has not been released — missed her initial flight to look for Pepper, she ultimately had to leave the search to authorities and continue on to China. She was extremely upset to leave her cat behind, according to local news station WABC. Lang will be caring for Pepper in the meantime until the feline can be returned to her owner.