PART ONE: December 3, 1987: A US Air Force military family checked in, and checked their luggage, including one Cargo Pet Carrier, with Felix the Cat as its passenger. Leaving Frankfurt to a base in California, the family boarded the Boeing 747 jumbo jet.
When arriving in LAX, Felix's pet carrier was empty. The family burst into tears. A paper report was written, lost luggage, but that piece of paper could not tell of the grief.
N727PA "Clipper Belle of the Sky" had a very busy schedule. She flies the world: LAX, Dulles, New York, Frankfurt, London, Nice, Rome, Madrid, Zurich and back. The Boeing 747 cargo hold is vast, and an aircraft this size has many places a small stowaway can hide. Is Felix still on board? Is that a cat the cargo handlers spot while loading the plane in Heathrow?
Just before the new year rang in, Felix was coaxed from her hiding spot on the aircraft, and immediately put into quarantine due to the United Kingdom's laws. Three days is given for the owner to pick her up, or Felix is doomed. But Pan Am in Heathrow have no idea where, or when, this cat got onboard. Is it a passengers? If so, who? The cat isn't speaking....
"Jane Ford ...I know exactly what happened next ...."
PART TWO: A frightened cat has just been coaxed from the cargo belly of Boeing 747 "Clipper Belle of the Sky". She's a bit skinny, and does not have baggage tag attached, so who does she belong to? Pan Am has three days before the cat loses its last life to United Kingdom's unclaimed animal quarantine laws.
Pan Am employee Jane Ford was compelled to act. She put out a wire to the worldwide network of Pan Am employees who raised the money necessary to keep the cat alive, in quarantine, at least for a little while longer.
A Pan Am employee across the pond saw the wire. Phyliss Seskin, assigned to the central tracing unit, manually read all the recent lost baggage paper claims and found the one about Felix. She contacted the family in California.
Felix the Cat made headlines WORLDWIDE. Johnny Carson mentioned her in his monologue. It is believed she set records: 29 days as a stowaway, 64 flights, three continents, traveling a total of 179,000 miles.
January 21, 1988, Felix and Jane flew Pan American World Airways First Class with caviar to LAX where the cat's family was there to greet her, along with reporters and photographers, all amazed at her journey.