The cat, named Smells, was initially found inside a traveler’s luggage on Nov. 16, a TSA spokesperson told Nexstar’s WPIX. The cat went undetected until the bag was passed through an X-ray unit, triggering an alarm and giving a “shock” to the on-duty TSA officer upon its discovery, TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein wrote on Twitter.
The TSA also shared a photos of the traveler’s luggage on Twitter, one of which showed the feline’s orange hair visibly peeking through an opened portion of the bag’s zipper. Another photo showed the cat inside the passenger’s luggage, as it was seen on the X-ray unit’s monitor.
The traveler, who was headed to Orlando, was alerted to the stowaway feline in his checked bag. He told TSA officers he had no idea Smells was in there, and that the cat belonged to someone else in his household.
The cat was ultimately transported back home, Farbstein said.
On Monday, Farbstein posted an update along with a picture of Smells sitting at a dinner table, seemingly about to tuck into a plate of turkey and mashed potatoes.
“Smells, the cat who @TSA recently rescued from a checked bag at @JFKairport after he snuck into a suitcase in an attempt to fly to Orlando, enjoyed Thanksgiving at home in Brooklyn,” Farbstein wrote. “Apparently Smells was planning to chase after a big mouse he heard was running around Disneyworld.”