US: Kitten takes an accidental flight

A kitten that crawled into her owner’s suitcase, got loaded on a plane, went 1,300 miles in the hold and was then taken home by the wrong person in a baggage mix-up was safely home again today.

The cat, called Gracie Mae stowed away in Seth Levy’s case when he was packing for a business trip.

The last time Mr Levy’s wife, Kelly, saw Gracie was before she took her husband to the airport. The 24-year-old went back to her house in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida l to find the bottom step, where the cat would usually be waiting, empty.

She tore the house apart looking for the cat, removing bathroom tiles and part of a cabinet to check a crawl space. She also flooded the area with “lost cat” notices.

Then she got a phone call.

“Hi, you’re not going to believe this, but I am calling from Fort Worth, Texas, and I accidentally picked up your husband’s luggage. And when I opened the luggage, a cat jumped out,” the caller said.

Rob Carter had got home before realising the suitcase was not his.

“I went to unpack and saw some of the clothes and saw it wasn’t my suitcase,” he said. “I was going to close it, and a kitten jumped out and ran under the bed. I screamed like a little girl.”

Mr Carter said that he eventually was able to get the 10-month-old cat to come out from under the bed.

“In the morning, I got close enough to see its collar and the phone number on it,” he said. “So I called the number and got a hold of the crying wife of the traveller.”

The tabby made the trip home on a £40 plane ticket.

Mr Carter said he considered keeping the cat before he knew she had a home. “We were going to name it Suitcase,” he said.

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