Alex Goldmark is a senior producer in the newsroom for New Tech City and Transportation Nation.
Update: The kittens, Arthur and August are being being put up for adoption at Animal Care of New York. They'll be ready to go to a new home in a couple of weeks.
Trains were stopped. The third rail was deactivated. Shuttle buses were scrambled. The police were called in. All because kittens were on the loose in the Church Avenue stop of the B and Q subway lines in Brooklyn on Thursday.
For two hours, a pair of adventurous kittens were seen darting in, around and under the subway tracks, evading the pursuit of police officers, MTA employees. Passengers tried to coax the cats out with food, according to reports from some news outlets that rushed to the scene with cameras in hand.
Tedd Mann of the WSJ, gave a timeline:
MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said a station attendant was first alerted to the presence of the cats around 11:06 a.m. by their owner, who had brought them to the Church Avenue station on subway’s Brighton Line.Somehow, the cats escaped onto the tracks. The station attendant alerted the MTA’s control center, which dispatched a Train Service Supervisor. It was the supervisor who asked that third rail power be cut in the area of the station, suspending regular service.
People waiting for their trains offered to help, but the MTA said they couldn't because of safety concerns, witnesses told NBC New York.
Train conductors were forthright with delayed passengers, citing kittens on the loose as the cause. Response was mixed among riders based on the a survey of quotes from on-scene reports. Cat lovers were sanguine, others, not so much.
One MTA employee tweeted at the cats to no avail.
Trains started rolling again shortly after 1 p.m. with the cats still on the loose.
Then, later Thursday night, as documented in a photo gallery from the NY Post, police officers and MTA employees rustled the kittens into milk crates for a safe evacuation.
The kittens are now available for adoption.