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Rowdy, the cat lost for three weeks at Logan, is reunited with owner

Rowdy, lost at Logan Airport for three weeks, peered out of her cat bag as she was reunited with her owner, Patty Sahli, Saturday.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Rowdy, the cat who evaded capture at Logan International Airport for three weeks, was reunited with her owner, Patty Sahli, on Saturday morning at the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

“I hope she recognizes me,” said Sahli, 59, of Crestview, Fla., tearing up as staff brought out the 4-year-old black cat in a carrier.

Rowdy let out a loud meow. “That’s her,” Sahli said. “She’s loud.”

Sahli pulled the cat into her arms as Rowdy’s wide green eyes explored the room, and her ears perked up to the sounds of camera shutters and birds chirping in a nearby room.

That curiosity is perhaps what got Rowdy into trouble when she escaped her carrier on June 24 after Sahli and her husband’s Lufthansa flight landed at Logan for a family reunion in the area. The cat’s disappearance launched a sweeping effort to track her down, involving airport personnel, construction workers, animal welfare groups, and more. Rowdy’s story drew national and international attention.

The cat was finally caught on July 13 in a safe-release trap. “We don’t know if she was tired or just kind of through with her adventure and wanted to go home,” said Michael DeFina, a spokesman for the Animal Rescue League.

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Veterinary staff at the Animal Rescue League deemed her to be in “excellent health,” despite her adventure. DeFina said that while it’s unknown what and how Rowdy ate while on the lam, but “there were no signs of her missing a meal.”

“She definitely demonstrated her survival skills,” he said.

Sahli said she worried the odds were low that Rowdy be reunited with the family, and since getting the call that the cat is safe, she’s been on “Cloud Nine.”

She flew to Boston Friday night to reclaim the cat and thanked everyone who helped bring Rowdy home.

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“I know a lot of people did a lot of things to find her and get her back safely,” she said. “We just appreciate it. It’s unbelievable.”

Of the family’s three cats, Sahli said that Rowdy was the one most suited for the caper. Rowdy likes to hide in order to observe from a distance, she said, earning her the nickname TSA — pronounced like the “ts” sound and then “ah” — “because she inspects everything.” Sahli said Rowdy also has the killer instinct, once even catching a bat.

When Rowdy was returned to her carrier Saturday in preparation for the trip back home, the sides shook a bit as she angled for an exit and meowed, sometimes letting out a wail.

“You don’t take kindly to this, do you?” Sahli said.

Sahli said Rowdy will be riding in the cabin this time — first class.

“It better contain her,” Sahli said. “I’ve got the zip ties and everything.”


Kate Selig can be reached at kate.selig@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @kate_selig.