Jack the cat, rescued from JFK, faces life-or-death fight with disease acquired from not eating

From the NYDailyNews.com:

Jack is back – but the tough-luck feline may not make it.

The cat, who became a paws célèbre after he was misplaced by American Airlines workers at Kennedy Airport two months ago, has turned up inside the airport – but he’s in dangerously poor health.

Jack the cat was in critical condition Wednesday night, with a nasty case of fatty liver disease, a treatable but potentially fatal illness that sets in when a feline stops eating.

“He’s certainly not out of the woods yet,” said Dr. Matthew Cooper, of BluePearl veterinary hospital in Forest Hills, Queens.

Cooper said he believes Jack, who lost 5 pounds during his 61-day misadventure and is now being fed through a tube, has a 50% chance of survival.

“He’s still very sick,” Cooper added.

Jack made a dramatic reappearance late Tuesday, falling from the ceiling of an airport Customs room, the owner’s sister told the Daily News.

Karen Pascoe’s amber-eyed cat had been missing since Aug. 25, when the feline escaped from a cargo kennel amid the chaos of people fleeing the approaching Hurricane Irene.

“Oh, my God, we’re totally thrilled. Totally, totally thrilled,” Pascoe’s sister, Mary Beth Melchior, said early yesterday.

But Melchior tempered her enthusiasm in a Facebook post later in the day.

“There’s every reason to believe he’s going to be ok, but he definitely needs to get healthier before he can fly back home,” Melchior wrote. “Please keep your prayers coming.”

Pascoe, who was moving from East Harlem to San Jose, California, when Jack was lost, did not return calls for comment.

Jack’s ordeal turned into a public relations nightmare for American Airlines.

The airline issued a public apology to Pascoe after hundreds of pet lovers, peeved that it took the air carrier nearly three days to organize a search party, bombarded its Facebook page with angry messages.

In just a few days, the lost tabby’s own Facebook page went viral, attracting more than 15,000 “friends” and turning the cat into a feline folk hero.

“Words can not express how happy I am that Jack was found!!!!!!” a poster wrote on the cat’s Facebook page Wednesday. “I give ALL the praise to God!!!!!!!!”

Pascoe’s sister said the family has vowed never to transport an animal via cargo again.

“The airlines don’t care,” Melchior said. “They’re just trying to make money and they don’t care that this is a live, conscious creature.”

rschapiro@nydailynews.com

Jack the Cat

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