Sunday 8 January 2023

Discussion on cat owner who went to an airport to abandon her young cat

NEWS AND COMMET: This is a peculiar story. Initially it made me scratch my head but I saw the issues later when writing this. A cat owner who might have been identified through CCTV cameras, apparently decided to abandon their five-month-old cat at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. They didn't catch a flight so the indication is that they travelled to the airport and then left on the RTA train going downtown.

Cat abandoned in airport bathroom
Cat abandoned in airport bathroom. This is a photo-edited creation! Not the cat in the story. Image: MikeB.

They abandoned their gray-and-white cat in an airport bathroom near a pre-check in area. The cat was in a carrier sitting on a sink. The illustration on this page is a mockup by me so this is not the actual cat and neither is the carrier on a sink! It's presence is to illustrate the page.

The cat and carrier were discovered by a Southwest Airlines employee. Initially they thought that this wasn't a purposeful abandonment of a cat but an accident. They announced the cat's presence over the tannoy system without response.

Airline staff contacted Meredith Janik who rescues and fosters cat. She appears to have put them in touch with Deborah Bartowick of Able Animal Clinic in Parma who are/were holding the cat for three days in case somebody came forward but there were no enquiries.

The cat will be adopted out. Deborah Bartowick voiced the concerns and thoughts of others when she said:

"I think they’re a horrible person. You don’t do that to a living creature. They don’t know the animal could have ended up in worse hands".

She also said:

"From previous experience I’ve seen other animals who weren’t able to fly, and not able to be accommodated. They were just left next to the trash can at the airport. They’ve indicated that the airport found a Beagle this week from a person who decided that they were going to travel, leave their animal and continue on their trip."

The feeling is that the person should be prosecuted for animal abandonment, fined and punished in some way. They've got to find them and I'm not sure that there will be enough commitment to do that either from the staff at the airport and the prosecutors within the justice system.

On the face of it, it appears to be very peculiar way, however, of abandoning a cat. The cat was found in good health with no fleas. This was clearly a domestic cat, well cared for it seems but the person decided that they wanted rid of "it" and further decided that the best way to do that was to take the cat to a busy place where somebody would find it. That's what happened. At least that's a good aspect of it. Perhaps then no so strange.

It's better than abandoning a cat nearer rescue center at the weekend in the middle of winter. But it would have been so much better for all concerned if the person had gone to a rescue center. Perhaps the were concerned that the cat would be put down for 'behavioral issues'.

I can see the issues. If you are a decent person perhaps it is hard to relinquish yourself of cat ownership in a way which is guaranteed to be safe for the cat.

The story is reported by 19 News online.

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