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Let the cat out of the bag: Airport security staff spot stowaway in suitcase

The outline of Smells the cat can be clearly seen in this x-ray (Transportation Security Administration via AP)
The outline of Smells the cat can be clearly seen in this x-ray (Transportation Security Administration via AP)

Security staff at a United States airport got a big surprise when they spotted a cat inside a traveller’s bag.

Officials at John F Kennedy airport in New York had already noticed ginger fur sticking out of a suitcase when an x-ray confirmed their suspicions: there was a cat in the bag.

Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration said: “On the bright side, the cat’s out of the bag.”

The passenger who owned the case was required to return to the ticket desk after the cat was found.

Ms Farbstein said: “The traveller said that the cat belonged to someone else in the household, implying that he was not aware that the cat was in the suitcase.”

She joked: “We call that a good catch.”

The stowaway cat, identified by the New York Post newspaper as being called Smells, was returned to its owner.

The cat’s owner told the paper that Smells must have crawled into the suitcase of a visiting friend.

She did not know her tabby was missing until airport officials called her.