airport cat

Cat lost at Toronto airport more than three weeks ago has finally been found

After what has undoubtedly been a harrowing 24 days, a cat that Air Canada staff lost in Toronto Pearson International Airport has defied all odds to be miraculously found and returned to his owner.

Riley McCann paid the airline $105 to put one of his two cats, Dewey, into cargo for his Jan. 16 flight to the trio's new home in Winnipeg.

But during a layover in Toronto from Montreal, the three-year-old blonde tabby somehow escaped from his carrier while ground staff "turned around for a moment," spawning a search that went on for nearly a month.

Along with the initial shock and distress over his furry family member going missing, McCann was furious about the fact that he wasn't permitted to help with search efforts while he was still at Pearson due to "security concerns."

Days after his arrival in Winnipeg, he was finally offered a flight back to the airport to look for Dewey, but couldn't go because he was quarantining post-travel.

"I begged and begged them to let me go in that room, to call out for him and try to find him myself, but was told it was impossible, and now I find out it was very much possible," he told CBC Manitoba at the time.

A lack of communication following Dewey's disappearance didn't help things, with McCann receiving very few updates on the situation from Air Canada — that was, until a call on Tuesday notifying him that, unthinkably, the kitty had been recovered and was being sent home.

McCann said that upon Dewey's arrival back into his arms yesterday, his pet was much worse for wear, "covered in soot and ash and junk" and notably thinner from his weeks spent in YYZ's baggage warehouse, per the CBC.

"He lost basically all his weight in the weeks that he was lost. He has very visible bones right now," he told the news outlet yesterday.

The bizarre and shocking story, which is every travelling pet owner's worst nightmare, went pretty viral in the days following the incident, with some residents even starting a petition demanding that Air Canada ramp up its rescue efforts.

Hopefully airline staff and Dewey alike have learned their lesson after the feline's lengthy vacation in a dingy airport back room — the former, to be more mindful when tending to luggage with pets inside, and the latter, to abstain from any more risky adventures, even if tempted by an open carrier door.

Lead photo by

Riley McCann via

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