PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - A cat has allegedly gone missing on a Jeddah-Kuala Lumpur flight, according to a now-viral Facebook post calling for help in locating the pet after its cage arrived intact but empty at KLIA on Friday morning.
"She was placed aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight MH0151 at 2100 in Jeddah last night (4am on Friday, Malaysian time). The ground staff at KLIA have lost her," said Richard Bradbury in a Facebook post on Friday, in which two photos of the cat, Princess, were shared.
Bradbury told The Star Online that Princess belonged to his girlfriend Eila Ezaar Reduan.
"Please help me to track her down. Who should I contact? Please share and help find her. Her owner is distraught. This is Princess. She is a street cat that was rescued from the streets of Jeddah and nursed back to health. She was just about to start her new life here in Malaysia," said Bradbury in his post.
He later told The Star Online that the cat's cage was intact and locked when it arrived at KLIA.
"Someone must have opened it using the clips around the edges," Bradbury alleged.
Eila explained how Princess was rescued three months ago after she was found roaming around Albawadi Street in Jeddah by Eila and her friends.
"We used to feed the street cats at our apartment area. Some of my friends and I rescued her and nursed her back to health as we are going back to Malaysia in July. One of my colleagues sent me a message saying there was an injured cat on the street. We took her home and sent her to the vet," said Eila.
She explained that Princess was flying back with a friend because no pets are allowed on the flight, Eila had booked for herself.
"One of my colleagues was going back on Thursday night so we rushed to get all the documentation done before the departure date. I was there right up to Thursday night, checking her in at the counter," said Eila.
She added that all the necessary paperwork and veterinary procedures - such as microchipping, vaccinations and export permits from the Agriculture Ministry and the Health Department were done in preparation for the flight
Eila said she had accompanied her pet to Customs in Jeddah for the final checks of all the documentation, right up to the point where the porter took Princess to be delivered to the aircraft.
She questioned the response by airline staff when informed of Princess' disappearance, saying that they should have immediately checked the cargo manifest.
Eila added that when live animals are brought onto an aircraft, it would be stated in the cargo manifest and load sheet so the captain can adjust the temperature and oxygen accordingly in the right cargo compartment.
When contacted, a MAS spokesman said that the airline was aware of the matter and that it was under investigation.