A stowaway feline has been found inside a traveler's check-in luggage at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) confirmed the incident, which took place on Nov. 16, and even joked about the "hiss-toric" find on Twitter Tuesday.

"We're letting the cat out of the bag on a hiss-toric find. This CATch had our baggage screening officers @JFKairport saying, 'Come on meow'! Feline like you have travel questions reach out to our furiends @AskTSA. They're available every day, from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. (ET)," the witty tweet read.

The cat was found while the bag was going through the standard X-ray screening for checked luggage, USA Today reported. An alarm went off after the machines detected the orange cat, and the TSA officer saw the X-ray image that revealed an animal crammed in the luggage.

TSA also shared the X-ray image alongside two other photos. One of the images shows orange fur poking out of the tagged bag, while the is of the officer with the half-open bag with the cat still inside.

The cat was eventually retrieved, and it was found to be alive. Meanwhile, the airline the bag owner was traveling with was notified. The police then asked him if he knew about the cat.

"From the sound of it, this was... unintentional," TSA's spokesperson, Lisa Farbstein, told the outlet, noting that the traveler said he was not aware of the cat found in his bag.

But the bag owner was familiar with the cat, as it belonged to another person in his household, Farbstein said.

The cat, named Smells, was safely returned to its home. As for the traveler, he was able to rebook his flight to Florida for the next day.

Authorities asked the cat's owner, identified as Alix P. of Brooklyn, if she wanted to press charges against the man who was traveling with her cat in his bag. Authorities were prepared to put the traveler on the No Fly list, but the pet owner assured them that it was a mistake, according to the New York Post.

The cat was fine and "wasn't even meowing on the way back," the owner said, adding that her pet "acted like nothing had happened" after the ordeal.

However, the internet does not seem to agree with the owner's account of the incident being a mere mistake.

"No way this was accidental. X-ray shows the poor cat was crammed into the top of the bag, barely able to fit in with the glass bottles. It is not 'snuggled into clothes' as TSA suggests. Seems like intent was to do away with 'someone else's' annoying cat," a Twitter user wrote.

"I hope the @TSA tune this person over to authorities for animal abuse and the cat handed over to a rescue shelter!! Horrible that you all are making insensitive jokes about mistreating a living being. But then, I guess that would be typical, right?" another person said.

"Please. That was no accident," another individual noted.

Other cat owners also weighed in on the matter, with some of them saying it was, in all probability, an accident.

"It's very possible. I packed a suitcase for a 3 week Norway trip. Got the bag packed, locked, loaded and on the way to the airport, and it started meowing at me. Cat had crawled in and burrowed under my sweaters and I didn't have a clue. I have no idea how she even fit in there!" one of them shared.

"My engine meowed at me once, after I had started driving away. It's very possible a cat got into the suitcase. There is reasons there is jokes about cats and suitcases. It happens. They are crafty critters. Also, engine kitty was freed and wasn't harmed," tweeted a second.

A third wrote, "Every cat owner knows that if you leave an open suitcase anywhere the cat will use it as a bed; if it's already stuffed full of your clothes that just gives it additional appeal."

In a similar incident, TSA agents previously found a kitten tucked inside a Florida couple's luggage, trapped "without food, water or air." The cat was lucky to have survived, and the couple was charged with animal cruelty for allegedly transporting animals in a cruel manner and for placing the 6-month-old feline inside checked luggage without any bare essentials.

Orange Cat
Representational image. Pixabay