After Losing Cat, Airline Calls in Psychic

State-owned Bolivian airline lost passenger's beloved pet more than a month ago
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2023 1:52 PM CST
Airline Calls in Psychic to Find Missing Cat
Iturre shared this poster on social media.   (Andrea Iturre/Facebook)

Bolivia's national airline has called in a pet psychic in the ongoing search for Tito, a cat that went missing from a flight more than a month ago. Owner Andrea Iturre says Boliviana de Aviacion—BoA—wouldn't allow her to bring a pet carrier into the cabin on a Dec. 8 flight from Tarija to Santa Cruz, so he was placed in the cargo hold, El Pais reports. She says she was horrified when she found the carrier empty at baggage claim in Santa Cruz. Airline workers told her the beloved pet had been lost in Tarija, before the plane took off. Iturre immediately returned to Tarija and has been searching for Tito ever since. Iturre had returned to Bolivia from Ireland to bring Tito back with her. She had planned to get the cat chipped and certified as an emotional support animal in Santa Cruz.

Iturre says the flight from Tarija was delayed for more than two hours and she begged airline staff to let her bring the carrier in the cabin because she knew the sedation would be wearing off. While complaints about poor service at the state-owned airline aren't unusual, Iturre's plight captured so much public attention that Bolivian Minister of Public Works Edgar Montano delivered an update at a televised press conference on Dec. 12, per El Pais. He said four different state agencies had joined the search. "We have placed food and water everywhere for the cat, who likes tuna fish," Montano said.

Iturre said earlier this month that she had been searching for Tito every day, focusing on the area around the airport, and she doesn't plan to give up. She said teams of volunteers were helping her search for the cat. The airline says it is paying her expenses while she remains in Tarija. The Guardian reports that the psychic—who is working from La Paz, around 400 miles away—has told Iturre that Tito is still alive. The decision to bring in the "interspecies communicator" has been ridiculed on social media—and has led to yet more criticism of BoA. (More Bolivia stories.)

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