Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — Personnel at security checkpoints are expected Airports have some interesting stories about the strange things they spot in the baggage of passengers.
Like finding a live cat tucked inside a handbag.
On Friday morning, at Norfolk International Airport in Virginia, a cat was found inside a passenger’s handbag while he was undergoing a security check.
The Transportation Security Administration, an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security, released an X-ray showing the poor pet cat, via its official Twitter account.
The tweet came with the usual TSA joke: “Attention pet owners: Please do not send your pets onto the plane through the X-ray checkpoint. This is a catastrophic mistake!”
The right way to get your little pet on the plane
“This was the case of a traveler with a pet,” Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, told CNN Friday afternoon.
She indicated that the traveler knew that the pet was in his hand luggage, as it was a bag or container intended to carry pets for travel.
“It appears that the passenger either did not know how to remove the pet from the carry-on baggage before going through the checkpoint, or forgot to do so,” Farbstein said.
“When that happens, they have to start over, which means the passenger and the cat have to start over the security procedure at the checkpoint.”
The traveler needs to remove the pet from a carry-on bag and carry it through a metal detector, or have the pet pass through a metal detector wearing a collar.
Farbstein explained that this is a typical procedure for how to travel with small dogs.
In the case of cats, if a collar is not available, “the Transportation Security Administration strongly recommends that the traveler be requested to be screened in a private room,” says Farbstein.
The reason, she said, is that “cats tend to be more aggressive than dogs, and may scratch, bite, jump or try to escape”.
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