Friday, February 09, 2018

Rs 10,000 reward for cat that went missing at Mumbai airport

Mumbai: Search is on for a pet Calico cat that went missing from Mumbai airport T2 on Monday, minutes before she was to go into the cargo hold of an Air India aircraft bound for Bengaluru. On Thursday night, its owners announced a reward of Rs 10,000 for the person who finds the two-year-old cat, Eva, with brown and dark green stripes, bright yellow eyes, wearing a red collar with a bell.
Atisha Bhutia and Sruti Menon, who are in the process of moving home from Mumbai to Bengaluru, said they had made all arrangements to ensure a safe carriage for their pets. "We had't flown with Eva before. We made enquiries at Air India Nariman Point office and were told that animals weighing less than 7kg could fly in passenger cabin, if kept inside a carrier," said Sruti. But at the airport, the AI staff told them that the new cut-off weight for animals flying cabin was 5kg and so the cats would have to go in the cargo hold.
Prepared for such last-minute changes, the couple had taken their two cats to a vet, got them sedated and carried medical documents that certified they were fit to fly. "We put them in a cat carrier, locked it and handed it over to the airline staff," Sruti said. Minutes before the boarding call, they received a call from the airline asking them to report at the airline counter where they were told that one of the cats had escaped. Atisha had to miss the flight because of this last-minute development. He spent the next few days filing complaints with various authorities, procuring permission to carrying out searches in cargo hold, handed out flyers, but to no avail.
Finally, he went to Sahar police who told him to scan the airport CCTV footage at the CISF control room. In the footage, he saw two AI staffers hand over the carrier to a loader, who kept it near a conveyor belt to transfer it to a truck. "But the loader walked away, which was when Eva managed to unhinge the cage door and escape. Had the airline put a ziplock on the cage, which is the protocol, she wouldn't have escaped," said Atisha.
10/02/18 Times of India