For a week, Pepper was on the lam.
The 4-year-old tabby cat was to board a flight from New York’s JFK International Airport bound for China with her owner back on April 20. But when the kitty’s kennel fell and the door popped open, Pepper made a run for it.
Pepper’s 29-year-old owner, a lawyer who was relocating from Jersey City to China, was in tears.
Pepper was seemingly not interested in the big move.
Pepper the Cat, lost on 4/20/18 in Terminal 4, JFK, has been sighted. #PAPD is now attempting to rescue Pepper. Humane traps have been set up in hopes the PAPD can reunite Pepper with its owner. #PAPDPROTECTSNYNJ #Pepper pic.twitter.com/qOnTN2OxUk
— Port Authority PBA (@PAPD911) April 26, 2018
Despite traps and food offerings, the cat remained at large.
Currently, #PAPD ESU is searching Terminal 4, JFK, for Pepper, a black & white cat that bolted when its owner was checking in for a flight to China. Pepper escaped into the upper structures of the terminal. Passenger missed flight. #PAPDPROTECTSNYNJ #PAPDESU #ESU pic.twitter.com/ti5zTq6vtA
— Port Authority PBA (@PAPD911) April 20, 2018
Not impressed: The Port Authority Police.
Pepper still remains elusive in JFK Airport’s Terminal 4 but, Pepper appears healthy. #PAPD police officers are continuing their efforts to rescue Pepper and return to her owner. Officers have been leaving food for Pepper in the areas of her sightings. #PAPDPROTECTSNYNJ pic.twitter.com/owuBgCLq3b
— Port Authority PBA (@PAPD911) April 27, 2018
Finally, on Saturday, Pepper’s life at the terminal came to an end.
That’s largely thanks to the help of the owner’s friend, Nuan Tang, who had cared for the cat before.
This is my friend’s cat Pepper (中文名:呆萌). She’s four years old and has microchip in her. Please inbox me or the airport officials if you ever see her. All leads are greatly appreciated! We miss her so much. Here’s a recent picture of her. pic.twitter.com/vT7eoUowRY
— ntp17 (@tn_nt17) April 21, 2018
Call it Operation: Little Dork.
When Tang called for Pepper by her Mandarin name, Dai Meng, which loosely translates to “little dork,” the cat seemed to recognize the voice.
And food treats on hand also helped.
Officer Kameel Juman and Tang were then able to grab the rogue kitty.
Port Authority Police rescue Pepper the Cat in Terminal 4, JFK. P.O. Kameel Juman (front, left) led the effort which included enlisting Pepper’s owner’s friend Nuan Lang (front, right). Rear, L-R #PAPD POs Ann Armstrong, Alfred Morgado & Sean McCafferty. #PAPDPROTECTSNYNJ #Pepper pic.twitter.com/kfEj6O8S38
— Port Authority PBA (@PAPD911) April 28, 2018
Pepper’s owner is over the moon, according to Tang.
And now, Pepper will be sent on her way overseas.
Guaranteed: The carrier will be very secure.
So long, Pepper.
Photos Port Authority PBA/Twitter