Breezy the Bengal show cat has been reunited with her owner after being found in a dark corner of Denver International Airport by a Southwest Airline crew.
Owner Ginger Thompson and the feline had been in Denver participating in a show but when they were getting onto a plane to fly back to their home in Spokane, Washington, Breezy escaped and disappeared.
The one-year-old Bengal got out of her carrier when someone bumped into it as they were getting onto the plane at Denver International Airport (DIA). Ginger frantically tried to coax Breezy back but the cat spooked and ran out the open plane door and fell through the gap between the plane and the bridge.
Ginger spent 24 hours “losing hope” Breezy would be found and was terrified she had been hurt badly in the fall from the plane. After a massive search effort was launched by ground crews at DIA, the spooked cat was found.
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Pictures shared on social media by Ginger showed a number of airport staff in high viz jackets searching around big crates of oil in a warehouse-looking storage room.
Announcing the cat had been found Ginger posted on Facebook: “Breezy has been rescued and I’m waiting for her to work out how to get her. I want to that the crew from Southwest Candace, Byron, Christopher, Lee, Brianna, Charlie, and their supervisor Vic for the diligent efforts to rescue Breezy with care and keep me updated.”
She added she “will stay her until Breezy is not so traumatized,” and said: “I’m going to buy a flight home with Alaskan airlines or if Breezy is too traumatized I’ll rent a car and drive home.”
Another picture shows an alarmed looking Ginger wedged down a narrow gap.
Just hours before Breezy was found, Ginger had posted on her Facebook : “It’s been a little over 24 hours sense I lost Breezy. I’m going out of my mind worrying. Trying to be patient but laying here in the hotel waiting is killing me and I’m losing any hope as each hour passes.”
A fundraiser setup to help support Ginger as she waited in hope Breezy was found read: “Lost and frightened, Breezy could be anywhere in the vicinity, possibly injured from a significant fall during her escape.”
A relieved Ginger later shared pics of Breezy safe and at home, grooming herself happily. The happy owner said: “Her chin is no long it’s bright white. Oily and greasy but safe.”
A spokesperson for the airport said U.S Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services helped look for the cat and worked with personnel from the airport. Ginger’s search gained a lot of traction online and was shared widely by animal lovers.
The owner/ cat pair had travelled to Denver for a cat show at the Crowne Plaza Denver International Convention Center, where Breezy won an award in 14 of 17 finals. “Breezy is more then a show kitty,” Ginger said on Facebook. “She and my other two are what keeps me going.”