Chester, a seven-month-old Scottish Fold kitten who was lost by Air Canada at the Montreal airport last month, has been found safe and sound — if a little skinny.
Owner Amanda Stewart, who lives in Surrey, B.C., posted a picture of Chester to Facebook on Wednesday along with the comments: "Omg omg omg" and "Hi everyone ITS BEEN CONFIRMED CHESTER HAS BEEN FOUND ALIVE. He is on his way to the vets right now."
Stewart confirmed to CBC News that Chester had been found by a woman, also named Amanda, who works at the Montreal-Trudeau airport where Chester was lost.
"I'm happy. I'm just hoping that he's OK right now. That he's healthy," Stewart told CBC News. "He seems to be skinny."
Isabelle Arthur, a spokeswoman for Air Canada, said the airline was advised by the Montreal Airport Authority team this morning that Chester had been located.
"They subsequently delivered him to our cargo team. As soon as we confirmed it was Chester, we advised his owner. Chester is now at a local veterinarian for a full checkup," Arthur said.
She said Air Canada was making arrangements to reunite Stewart and Chester as soon as possible and will pay for all the expenses.
"We will be taking care of everything, including reuniting Chester with his owner," Arthur said.
Stewart had bought Chester from a Quebec breeder for $1,200 more than a month ago. However, the cat managed to escape from its airline-approved cat carrier on May 21 while at the Montreal airport en route to Vancouver.
Owner looked to Facebook for help
Stewart had set up a Facebook page to help co-ordinate searchers in Montreal. Just yesterday, she posted a message that said Chester had been gone so long that it wasn't looking good. "He should have been seen by now," she wrote.
'I don't want him in cargo at all.' - Amanda Stewart
"I had great amounts of awesome people just looking in the neighbourhoods for me. He wasn't found in the neighbourhoods though, he was actually found inside the airport fence — along the fence is what I got — and he was spotted and then trapped this morning," she said from Surrey, B.C.
Now Chester is at the vet getting a checkup, accompanied by an Air Canada employee who had been helping Stewart on her own time. Stewart said Chester weighs just five pounds, but is eating and drinking.
She said she hopes to get him back soon, but wants to make sure he's in good shape before putting him on a plane.
Air Canada could have done more: owner
Stewart told CBC News that while she's very happy that Chester was found, she is still upset with what she said was a lack of communication from the airline to the rest of the airport.
She said Air Canada could have done more to co-ordinate search efforts.
To get him back home, Stewart said she hopes that at the very least, Air Canada will allow Chester inside the cabin instead of putting him in cargo. Ideally, she said, they'd pay to have her husband fly to Montreal to collect the cat.
"I don't want him in cargo at all."