This is the first edition of a new featured called “NYC CATS” where we highlight cats of this fine city! Hope you enjoy today’s installment!
On August 29, 2013, two small kittens were found wandering on NYC train tracks, shutting down two busy subway lines for nearly two hours. CNN may have put it best when they wrote:
“Lions may be kings of the jungle, but for nearly two hours, two kittens ruled the concrete jungle as officials halted New York subway service Thursday.”
Reaction to the MTA shutting down the subway lines was mixed, but if power had not been cut off to the 3rd rail, it’s likely the kittens would not have made it!
The most controversial statement of the day was made by Republican mayoral front-runner Joe Lhota (whose previous job happened to be running the MTA) who went on record saying he would not have stopped the trains for the kittens (!!).
It’s a good thing no one listened to Joe, and the two brothers – August (black) and Arthur (tabby) – were rescued! Yay New York!
I had a chance to speak with the kittens forever Mom Katherine recently and asked how she and her husband Keith got these famous kittens and how they’re doing now!
Did you specifically want to adopt the famous “subway” kittens? Living in New York we’d heard about them, and we watch “The Colbert Report” (on which the kittens made an appearance with their foster Dad Steven Liu). But we weren’t looking to get famous kittens, we just wanted 2 bonded kittens.
We filled out an application for the AC&C (the NYC city kill shelter) saying we wanted to two kittens and sent it in the day they went up for adoption along with hundreds of other applications. We did think, maybe these are our cats.
The AC&C called the same day we sent in the application. We were asked to come meet them and took them home that very day!
We love the boys and they’ve brought such great energy to our lives, but we would’ve happily taken home two different homeless kitties that day if someone else had adopted Arthur and August!
As a side note, the staff were at the AC&C were awesome. It must be hard to be around so many abandoned animals and keep a positive attitude. They help so many animals there and we were just glad to have been able to help in a very small way.
I hear you had cats before. Can you tell me a little bit about that? I had cats when I was younger growing up named Stanley and Oliver after Laurel and Hardy. One was skinny, one was fat, and they were the best of friends. Keith lived with someone who had a cat and become bonded.
How did you come to name them August and Arthur? They were named when we got them. We knew when we got them there was no way we would change their name. Not only because everyone in New York City knew them, but the names are good matches for them. We did ask the ACC where the names came from. They said that the Officer who rescued them had the last name Augustine. Maybe his first name is Arthur? We’d love to know, so if anyone out there knows an Officer Augustine!
How has adopting these cats changed your lives? We scoop a lot more litter! It’s truly surprising how quickly they’ve adapted. I’ m sure we have Steven Liu to thank for that. He had them for 6 weeks. They adjusted so quickly. I have never met such polite cats. We sleep with the door closed and when we get up in the morning they are sitting quietly outside our bedroom door in the morning. They have not caused much havoc in our house.
Although this morning we woke up and found out they did an art project for us while we were asleep. They basically make us a snowflake garland for us out of a full roll of paper towels on a snowy day. It was great, very artistic.
As Katherine told the New York Daily News, “It’s safe to say they’re not going to be boarding any trains for a while.”
Can you tell us a little about their personalities? August is very protective of Arthur. They always want to be in the same room, especially when they’re sleeping. If they’re sleeping on the same couch next to each other, you can always see one little paw reaching over to touch the other cat. I think they really comfort each other.
Arthur’s meow sounds like he’s asking “why?” and August’s meow sounds like a definitive “because.”
Arthur is a messy eater. All his food ends up on the floor. August eats from one side to the other. He’s a very methodical eater. Arthur He likes the laser pointer, while August prefers catnip toys.
They have a fabric tee-pee that Arthur likes to sit inside of it. August somehow leaps onto the top of it where the sticks and the opening are and jams his hand inside to get to Arthur! On the flip side, Arthur loves to catch August’s tail when it’s moving. He stalks it and pounces!
They they be getting Christmas gifts? (this interview took place before the holidays).
Yes, I just don’t know what yet! But I do know what my husband is getting.
And then Katherine turned the tables on me and asked me a question!
“I was told that since I’m married I couldn’t be a cat lady. Is that true? I feel like I was robbed of something. What if I wanted to be one?”
I think I responded something to the fact that I think having only two cats, and not her marriage status was what might prevent her from having cat lady status. What do you guys think?
Cat lady status aside, I think Arthur and August are two very lucky kittens on many levels (if not only because they have parents who appreciate the destruction of paper towels in the name of art!).
I can only hope that ever single one of those people who submitted applications for them but didn’t get them still went home with rescue kitties or cats from the ACC.
And just because they are so cute, here are a few more photos of Arthur and August for your viewing pleasure!