Family Accuses Airline of Losing Cat as Pet Missing After Flight to Boston

A Massachusetts family has spoken of their despair after they say their cat went missing while being moved by an airline after a flight from Germany last week.

According to the family, Lufthansa Airlines told them that four-year-old cat Rowdy escaped her cage while cargo was being unloaded at Logan International Airport to chase after a bird. The airline was allegedly unable to catch her and has lost track of her whereabouts.

The Sahli family was moving back to the U.S. from Germany after living there for 15 years, where some family members were serving with the U.S. Army.

"I went to the cargo area and they said 'Oh, do you have a black cat?' [I said] 'Yeah,' and they said 'Well, we don't know where she is right now,'" Patty Sahli told NBC Boston. As per NBC, Lufthansa also told Sahli in a recent email that custom agents sent a K9 unit to search for the cat and an animal control unit set up traps for her, but were unsuccessful in doing so.

"She's got bright green eyes; the softest coat ever; she's a very vocal, loud cat. She goes and gets into things," said Sahli. "We joke that she inspects every box and every bag, and she would be great at airport security."

Sahli shared her anguish in a popular Reddit post just days ago, detailing that "the airline lost my cat at Boston Airport, I am worried sick," in the post's title. It has gained over 16,000 likes so far.

"Her sister cat flew the same route a week prior and was fine, this is the last time I plan on flying with cats," she wrote in a comment. "Last I heard they tried to catch her while she was chasing birds (?)...her carrier had two locking mechanisms so it's pretty hard to escape from."

Sahli and her lost cat have gained support online, with floods of messages and helpful information. The family has local Reddit users for help putting up missing posters in the area.

Lufthansa told Sahli that her case has now been passed on to their customer feedback department in New York.

In a statement to Newsweek, Lufthansa said: "At Lufthansa, we fully understand the deep bond that people have with their family pets. Animal safety and welfare are very important to us and we have a long-standing reputation for the safe handling and transport of animals of all kinds. The incident that occurred on LH422, upon arrival in Boston on June 24th, was extremely unfortunate and we are saddened to hear of the situation. We continue to work with Massport Animal Control as we all have the common goal of locating Rowdy and reuniting her with her family."

The family are now hoping Rowdy will appear in the area and are regularly checking in with local shelters for any news. "My mother and I have contacted the shelters in the area...just hoping they find her or something," Sahli wrote online.

Update 6/30/22 at 3:13 a.m. ET: This article was updated with comment from Lufthansa.