Cat Missing At Chicago’s O’Hare Airport

Basil the cat has been roaming somewhere around O’Hare International Airport in Chicago since July 30. He is trying to find his way back to his owner.

Shelly-Marie Rios was moving to Detroit, Michigan to Austin, Texas with her two cats, Basil and Jasper. She put both one-year-old cats in a pet carrier to be put on an American Airlines plane for Austin.

At O’Hare, she was told that the cat carrier came apart when it was being loaded. Jasper went one way, and Basil went the other way. An American Airlines employee was able to catch Jasper, but Basil escaped.

“First of all, I’m broken-hearted that I don’t have my cat,” Rios said, “and secondly, that the cage was treated so inhumanely that the latches were actually broken off the cage.”

An American Airlines spokeswoman, Mary Frances Fagan said there was no inhumane treatment. She said when the ramp worker was loading the airplane, he lifted the carrier by the handle, and the bottom fell off.

Fagan said it is rare that American Airlines loses a pet and said the airline is truly sorry.

The company continues to put out food and have people looking for Basil.

Fagan added that it is rare that American Airlines loses an animal and that the airline is “terribly sorry.” They are very concerned about the situation and the safety of Basil and taking it very seriously.

Rios said she has had both of the cats since they were kittens and calls them both family. She said both Basil and Jasper were indoor cats, and that this is Basil’s first experience in the outdoors.

She also added that Jasper has not been the same since Basil has been missing. She has been walking around the house, meowing, and looking for Basil.

Rios has been calling animal shelters around the airport in hopes Basil was found outside its fences. She said Basil could also still be hiding at the airport.

Source: Chicago Sun Times

9 Responses to “Cat Missing At Chicago’s O’Hare Airport”

  1. NH says:

    That is so sad. I hope they find that cat.

  2. elizabeth says:

    I’ve always believed that airports, loud noise, cargo holds and pets do not really belong together. I have driven cross country during a stressful houseold move just so I can know my babies are comfortably with me and safe. I hope they find Basil, but O’Hare is a BIG airport.

  3. MaineMom says:

    The bottom “fell out” of the crate? Only airline certified crates should be allowed in cargo - where no cat should ever be transported anyway! All the crates I’ve purchased in the past ten years came with extra mesh/velcro straps to be used for air transport. Sounds like AA didn’t even check the crate to see if it was approved for airline use or properly secured. Two cats in one crate? Ignorance is not bliss; but I do feel terribly sorry for the poor lost cat Basil.

  4. Elaine Vigneault says:

    I hope they find him, too.

    This story is just one more example of why pets shouldn’t fly cargo. It’s far too dangerous.

  5. Pets Are Not Cargo | Diary Blog of Elaine Vigneault says:

    […] was treated so inhumanely that the latches were actually broken off the cage.’” (source: Itchmo via Chicago Sun […]

  6. DD says:

    My boyfriend works at Fed Ex in the airport and one of his fellow employees found a cat and called the city. I wonder how we can tell the lady so she can see if it is her cat?

  7. Shelly-Marie Rios says:

    Wow. I was too late to read this I guess. I miss Basil, still. My carrier was $100 large carrier that was MORE than airline approved. When I got it back, it was completely mangled. Both cats were 3 pounds each, small things that needed each other, I felt, to get through the flight. 6 pounds of cat in a large carrier should not have been a problem.I suffered through making the decision to bring them into the cabin with me, but AA told me they could not take two pets on. So i had no choice at the airport. I had no car. So screw the person who didn’t know all of the details and decided to make a judgment on me. Lots of variable you have no idea about lady! Jasper is fine now and very spoiled.

  8. Simone says:

    I am so sorry for Basil. I have two cats and we will be flying with them soon. I will make sure that we can take them into the passenger cabin. It is just so sad that your cat got lost. Can’t anyone find out what happened to the cat that was found?????

  9. Laura C. says:


    Please post a recent photo or a detailed description of your cat. Thank you.

E-mail It