April 01, 2020

Maine cat hops truck, now stuck in California> South Portland owner learns flying pet can be costly

SOUTH PORTLAND — A 1 1/2-year-old cat named Lloyd that hopped aboard a rented truck has ended up stranded across the country.

And a South Portland woman and her 12-year-old son face complicated air freight rules and hefty expenses if they hope to get their gray tiger cat back.

It all started Dec. 28 when Lloyd crawled into a Ryder truck that Daniel Manalus had rented for his move to California. Two days later in Las Vegas, the cat jumped out, giving Manalus quite a shock. He saw the animal’s collar tag and called his former neighbors before heading on to California.

Cat owner Annie Bowman said that in the meantime, she has learned that airline rules make it tricky to transport unaccompanied pets. Shipping costs aren’t cheap, either.

Airlines told Bowman they don’t fly animals anywhere warmer than 85 degrees or colder than 45 degrees.

“I can’t wait for it to get warmer than 45,” she said. “It’d be spring before we see our cat.”

But one airline said it can put Lloyd in heated holding areas while it’s being shipped to Maine. The bill for counter-to-counter delivery: $125.

Bowman is ruling out the idea of flying to California to fetch Lloyd.

“I’m scared to death of an airplane,” she explained.

“This is such a problem,” said Bowman. “The stupid thing got in a truck and now it’s going to be almost impossible to get him home.”

“I just want my cat back,” she added. “He has traveled farther west than I have.”

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