Breaking mews: Pepper the cat has been found!
Pepper, the escaped tabby that has been wandering JFK Airport for the last week, is finally home safe.
"I was so happy," Nuan Tang, the roommate of the cat's owner, told WCBS.
She explained that Pepper and her owner were getting ready to fly to China on April 20 when the 4-year-old cat escaped her carrier during check-in, and bolted.
The 29-year-old owner missed her flight to look for her beloved house pet, but eventually boarded a flight the following day when she was unable to find her.
“[When] I got to know the cat disappeared, we couldn't believe it," Tang said. "We were so devastated."
For more than a week, airport staff and travelers alike reported spotting the cat, which mostly came out in the middle of the night in search for food.
Night after night, Port Authority police put out food in hopes of luring Pepper out, to no avail.
"Initially, I was just sad," said Officer Kameel Juman, who led the search efforts. "I really thought nothing was working."
Juman then thought to reach out to Tang, hoping Pepper might recognize her voice.
Sure enough, after calling the cat’s name in mandarin, “Dai Meng,” for 15 minutes at JFK’s Terminal 4, Pepper eventually came out of her hiding place, and back into the carrier.
“Everyone was smiling ear-to-ear that we found this cat," Juman said.
Tang will take care of Pepper at their home in Jersey City until her owner returns from China to bring the cat to their new home.