Leashed cat on NY subway was bad idea but impressive rescue is heartwarming

Using the NY subway, a lady was taking her two cats, Zoe and George, back home after a visit to her veterinarian. George is a black cat and you can see him in the photograph below being rescued from the tracks on the New York subway.

George rescued from subway rails
George rescued from subway track and electrified rail.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

George, who is a little over a year old, was on a leash, while Zoe was in a carrier. His owner, Mila Rusafova said that George is usually a very sweet and peaceful cat but he bolted when he was startled by the oncoming train that was pulling into the platform.

She said: “He ran and the collar opened and he jumped onto the tracks… He was really scared and ran into one of the alcoves and just sat in the corner facing the wall, not moving like a statue.”

The railwayman, Brian Kenny, who rescued George with Gus Vargas, said that, “He was panting, he was petrified. He did not move a muscle.” The third (electrified) rail was inches from him. Brian is apparently an avid cat lover. Well thank God for that!

It appears that the train driver saw the cat in the alcove on the other side of the tracks from the platform and stopped the train before he was adjacent to George.

Mila alerted the railway staff who had trouble passing on the message to supervisors because there was a problem with radio communication.

After a while, the driver of the train wanted to move off despite George remaining in the alcove very close to the electrified tracks as you can see from the photograph and video. Mila begged him not to move off. He agreed not to and in the meantime her brother went for help. He returned with a couple of transit cops.

The power on the tracks was then shut down and the service suspended on both the uptown and downtown trains.

In all 83 trains were delayed or rerouted. It was a major incident which took place at a particularly critical part of the railway system where three lines converge for both express and local trains. The event took place during Wednesday afternoon rush hour at the Canal Street station. George was very lucky that he did not touch the electrified rail.

Some passengers were stuck on a train for 35 minutes. The conductor made announcements that the MTA (the railway operator) was hunting for animals on the track! The passengers did not know whether they meant a large dangerous animal or what!

Kenny, the rescuer, who has two cats of his own said that he is often required to rescue animals from the tracks. He rescued a cat which he subsequently adopted when a passenger (a rider) had dumped the cat inside a carrier onto the tracks at Chambers Street station.

Mila said it was her worst nightmare come true. She had imagined falling or dropping something onto the tracks before but never in her wildest dreams did she imagined that one of her cats would jump onto the railway line and remain within inches of a high-voltage rail. She is naturally very grateful for the assistance given by the NYPD and the patience and help of passengers and the staff of the railway line.

P.S. I think it would have been a better idea if George had been put in the carrier with Zoe or in a separate carrier. A cat on a leash in the subway it pushing your luck to be brutally honest.


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