The cat is out of the bag: TSA thwarts 'purr'-fect stowaway attempt at New York's JFK Airport

NEW YORK -- It must have seemed like the purr-fect plan for a cat: Sneak into someone's carry-on bag and stowaway for a getaway over the Thanksgiving holiday.

But it couldn't sneak past the TSA.

Cat in Bag at JFK
An X-ray screen provided by TSA shows a cat hiding inside a carry-on bag at New York's JFK Airport.

Security agents at New York's JFK Airport Tuesday found quite the surprise when they sent the carry-on bag through the X-ray machine to find the image of a cat tucked inside the suitcase nestled in with the toiletries.

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Further inspection by security agents found a tell-tale tuft of fur poking through a slightly opened zipper.

Cat in Bag at JFK Airport
A tuft of fur sticks out from a bag with a cat inside at JFK Airport on Nov. 23, 2022.

"This CATch had our baggage screening officers @JFKairport saying, ‘Come on meow’!' a TSA spokesperson said on Twitter, amid several other cat puns.

"The passenger apparently had no idea the cat, which belongs to someone else, had stowed away in the suitcase," according to TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein.

Cat in Bag at JFK Airport
A TSA agent opens a bag with a cat inside at JFK Airport on Nov. 23, 2022.

The "traveler said the cat belonged to someone else in his household," Farbstein said. "On the bright side, the cat’s out of the bag and safely back home."