By Alison Fox
December 11, 2019
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Milo the cat, who went missing more than two months ago after his carrier arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport without him in it, has been reunited with his human.

“Anytime we can catch an animal and return it to their owner, it’s an awesome feeling,” Ryan Stewart, Wildlife Biologist at Dulles International Airport, told Travel + Leisure. “I spoke with the owner several times during Milo’s Dulles excursion and became personally invested in seeing his capture through. It’s an awesome feeling to know he was safely returned in time for the holidays.”

The cat saga started when Milo’s human, Molly McFadden, checked the kitty into the cargo hold on a Lufthansa flight from Munich, Germany to Washington, D.C. But when McFadden landed in the nation’s capital and went to collect her beloved pet on Oct. 3, he was nowhere to be found.

Instead, his damaged —and empty — carrier came out of the international baggage claim. McFadden posted about the ordeal on Facebook, writing that he had gone missing at some point between the tarmac in Washington D.C. and the baggage claim area.

Last week, however, McFadden posted the paw-some news that Milo had been found.

“I have been waiting so long to make this post and couldn’t be more excited about it - guess who’s home for the holidays!!!” she wrote. “I am so thankful to the Dulles Airport USDA and all the team that helped look for him... And thanks to everyone who followed for their support and well wishes. The little guy is so lucky to be loved by so many people.”

Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

McFadden posted photos of Milo’s first few days home, adding that while he is tired, the vet has given him a clean bill of health “and they said he looked good all things considered.”

It turns out, Milo is a slippery little feline, evading rescuers from the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services that started looking for him within an hour of his escape. Despite daily searches, Milo wasn’t spotted until Nov. 5th., after more than a month on the lam, a spokeswoman for the agency said.

He was first spotted with a thermal imager and McFadden was brought within 10 yards of him, but he ran into a nearby wooded area.

The USDA then began “an extensive trapping effort of the 1,000 acre area,” spotting him again on Nov. 15 and Nov. 27. But Milo was never spotted in the same spot twice and it wasn’t until Dec. 5 when Milo ran beneath a service road intersection that the agency’s wildlife biologist was able to block off his escape and catch him hours later.

Mike Stewart, a vice president and Washington Dulles International airport manager, told Travel + Leisure that the search for the elusive cat was “extensive” adding: “we were thrilled to reunite Milo the cat with his owner on Friday.”

This isn’t the first daring cat escape at an airport.

Last year, a tabby named Pepper escaped her carrier at John F. Kennedy Airport while her human was checking in to a flight to China. The humans eventually had to catch the flight themselves and leave Pepper behind where she hid out in the terminals until finally being caught more than a week later.