A cat who went missing at the Denver International Airport after escaping her carrier and falling to the tarmac is back safe in her owner’s arms.
Breezy the Bengal cat, got out of her carrier while she and owner Ginger Thompson were boarding their Southwest flight in Denver on Monday.
“[I] was storing my backpack and her carrier was pushed by someone trying to get by,” the owner wrote on Facebook, adding that part of the carrier “ripped,” and Breezy “got scared and ran out the door.”
“They were getting me on the plane rushing me, and I set her down to get ready to put her under the seat, put my backpack up into the overhead bin, and was sort of jostled,” the owner, who lives in Vancouver, Washington, told Denver outlet FOX31.
After escaping her carrier, the show cat fell between the plane door and jet bridge, landing on the tarmac below, Thompson told the outlet.
“I saw her fall, and she sort of tried to claw to stay up, but the momentum just took her down,” she said. “And it wasn’t a jump or anything, it was more like just falling.”
Thompson shared news of Breezy’s scary situation on Facebook and included a heartfelt message in the updater. “Breezy is more [than] a show kitty,” she wrote. “She and my other 2 are what keeps me going.”
A friend of Thompson’s started a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of a hotel, so the distraught owner could stay near the airport while staff members searched for her missing cat.
After checking into the hotel, Thompson shared a screenshot of her text conversation with a Southwest ramp agent, who told her that “about a dozen” agents were actively searching for Breezy.
At the time, the Bengal cat had last been spotted “near some vents by [gate] C24” by the overnight crew, the agent said.
Two hours later, the worried owner shared another update. “It’s been a little over 24 hours [since] I lost Breezy. I’m going out of my mind worrying. Trying to be patient but laying here in the hotel waiting is killing me, and I’m losing any hope as each hour passes.”
“What has kept me going is all the support that is being offered and shown to get Breezy home,” she added.
A day into the search, Southwest employees found the show cat hiding in a ramp area at the airport.
“Breezy has been rescued,” Thompson wrote on Facebook. She went on to thank the entire Southwest crew for their “diligent efforts” to rescue her beloved cat “with care” — and shared that she would be offering them a reward for their hard work.
The owner also shared a photo of her text conversation with one of the crew members, who sent her a picture of the feline after she was discovered.
“Southwest ramp loves Breezy,” the employee texted Thompson, sharing a group selfie of the cat and the team that found her.
Thompson shared photos of Southwest employees’ successful search for Breezy, including a shot of the team holding flashlights.
“Southwest ramp crew are the best,” she wrote alongside the photos.
Thompson also shared snapshots from when Breezy was returned to her — including a selfie with the police officer who reunited them — and a photo of the show kitty licking her paw in the hotel room.
“Her chin is no [longer] bright white,” the owner wrote, adding that Breezy was “oily and greasy but safe.”
According to Thompson’s Facebook, she and Breezy are staying in Denver until the feline visits a veterinarian. Once the Bengal cat gets a clean bill of health, she and Thompson will return to Washington, where the owner’s other two kitties, Sammy and Beemer, await their return.
“They’re more than just show animals or pets,” Thompson told FOX31 of her furry friends. “They’re my family. They’re all I have.”