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Couple relocating to New Orleans loses pet at airport

Published: Aug. 31, 2013 at 4:25 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2013 at 4:25 PM CDT
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New Orleans, La. - It's not the kind of welcome Diana and Gary Materna hoped for.

The couple, who is relocating to New Orleans from Ohio with their three cats, got off their flight at Armstrong International Wednesday and were met with some heartbreaking news from airline officials.

"They said, 'We have some upsetting news,'" Gary Materna said. "It was a shock, like losing one of your children. They said, 'We only have two of your cats.'"

Missing is "Cookie," a 7-year-old, 12-pound sleek black cat who is afraid of loud noises.

The Maternas said Cookie and their other two cats traveled on a cargo flight from Ohio, each in a separate kennel. Cookie's kennel was offloaded with the other two, but it was empty when it was brought to the cargo office, Materna said. Somewhere between the plane and the cargo office, Cookie disappeared.

The airline has apologized profusely and has been as helpful as it can, but the Maternas say they are heartsick. The couple has been posting fliers around the airport in a desperate effort to find their pet. They say their next stop is the Humane Society to see if someone brought Cookie in.