Where’s Chester? Air Canada loses prized feline
By CBC News
June 4, 2014, Montreal - A Scottish fold cat named Chester is lost in Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport, and would-be new owner Amanda Stewart is blaming Air Canada.
By CBC News
When Stewart, who lives in
Surrey, B.C., saw pictures of seven-month-old Chester, she loved
everything about him. The blue-grey short-haired Scottish fold — a breed
characterized by its folded-over ears and big saucer eyes — came from a
breeder in Montreal.
She bought Chester for $1,200, and with the assurance of the
breeder that putting him in live cargo would be fine, they sent Chester
on a journey.
On May 21, the breeder brought Chester to the Montreal airport
to send him to Stewart, delivering the cat to Air Canada’s live cargo
“From what I know, he was dropped off at the airport last
Wednesday [May 21] at 10 a.m. by the breeder and he was left in a cat
kennel that was approved for airline travel. The cage was secured by the
breeder as well as Air Canada employees. They checked the cages over,”
Stewart told CBC Daybreak host Mike Finnerty.
“By 11.30 a.m. my time in Vancouver, I received a phone call
from the cargo people in Montreal telling me not to go to the airport
because the cat had escaped.”
Stewart was told the bottom of the door had somehow gotten loose
enough to allow the cat to get out. She suspects Chester is still at the
Montreal airport, hiding.
Isabelle Arthur of Air Canada’s media relations said in a
statement to CBC News that the airline ships thousands of animals a
year, “and escaped animals are rare.”
Arthur said staff have laid sardine-laden traps for Chester
and circulated his picture around to airport staff, going so far as to
dispatch employees to search the backyards of homes neighbouring the
Dorval airport and employing the airport’s falcon unit to search for the
Scottish fold. Stewart said she was told Air Canada had also alerted
other airports, in case Chester managed to get onto another plane.
“We… remain focused on looking for the cat, which escaped from
its kennel prior to being loaded onto the aircraft in Montreal,” she
Stewart, for her part, asked Air Canada to let her bring in a
trapper, but said she was told the airport wouldn’t permit that.
However, she said she spoke to a representative of the airport just the
other day who said they hadn’t received a request from Air Canada about
that so far.
She’s hoping no one has cat-napped Chester, and is regretting
not flying out to get the cat herself. Stewart said the breeder told her
she had lots of experience shipping animals via Air Canada live cargo
and had never had any problems.
“I just thought, ‘Well, OK. They know what they’re doing.’ And here we are: My worst nightmare,” Stewart said.