back to article Lyft driver takes off with cat, global search ensues

One man’s hunt for his cat captivated an entire town, and the internet, after a Lyft driver allegedly sped off with the kitty still inside on Saturday afternoon. According to Palash Pandey, who recounted his tale on both Twitter/X and Reddit, he was taking his cat Tux to the vet using ridesharing platform Lyft. On reaching …

  1. John Klos

    That's criminal

    WTAF? The driver takes off, finds a cat in the back, and just ejects it in some random spot? That driver should be criminally charged.

    The fact that we humans treat animals as property and not as things that have a right to exist and not suffer says something about our value system, and it's not good at all.

    1. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

      Re: That's criminal

      "The fact that we humans treat animals as property and not as things that have a right to exist and not suffer says something about our value system, and it's not good at all."

      Absolutely agree. It also says a lot that the driver didn't consider how much distress his actions might cause to the owner, too. Clearly an asshole.

    2. Juan Inamillion

      Re: That's criminal

      How do you know it was the driver who ejected the cat?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: That's criminal

        And even if it was it might not be possible to prove it.

    3. Howard Sway Silver badge

      Re: That's criminal

      The taxi driver chucked the cat out because it refused to cough up the fur.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: That's criminal

        Yeah, he didn't want to pay the tabby...

        1. Ken Shabby

          Re: That's criminal

          Because it wasn’t the Furari he ordered

    4. Marty McFly Silver badge

      Re: That's criminal

      No debate, I love my 4-footed companion.

      However, in the state of Oregon, dogs are considered "property". Thus if I take a healthy dog to the vet and pay the vet to kill the animal, it is my right to do so. The vet cannot take the dog and try to adopt it because dogs are legally property, and the vet was hired to perform a service they provide. This has been tested in court and vets who have tried lost the case and had to pay civil fines.

      Look up Oregon Revised Statue 609.020

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: That's criminal

        However, in the state of Oregon, dogs are considered "property"

        That's derived from English Common Law where dogs are considered chattel and thus property. Cats on the other hand - they are still considered as wild [1] animals and thus, can't be chattel. So, in the strictly legal sense, you can't 'own' [2] a cat.

        [1] Wild? They are *furious*

        [2] As any cat owners know full well.

        1. notyetanotherid

          Re: That's criminal

          >[1] Wild? They are *furious*

          Surely, "absolutely livid"? [~01:05]

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: That's criminal

          "So, in the strictly legal sense, you can't 'own' a cat."

          Yes. with cats it works the other way around. My aunt was only one of several neighbours owned by one cat.

          Then there are the numerous cats which seem to believe they collectively own my garden.

    5. Ideasource Bronze badge

      Re: That's criminal

      Nothing has a right to exist. But there is opportunity to continue existence.

      Animals much like humans win each day of existence by finding ways avoid death until they don't and so becomes material for the next round of life.

      Much more kin to a game of roulette then something in your pocket.

      They're considered property so as to bring them into human jurisdiction and responsibility to care for.

      Otherwise they're default to independent agents that must survive or fail by their own gambles.

      This relationship predates human morality and maintains independent of it because it's grounded in something more real.

      Physicality itself.

  2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    ...Pandey asked the public to not dox...

    Call me old-fashioned -and given my age, I probably and rightly am- but when did "dox" enter the realm of proper, written English?

    and where's the grammar nazi icon?

    1. KarMann Silver badge

      You rang?

    2. Andy the ex-Brit


      As it turns out, it entered the OED in 2015.

  3. kevin king

    lt: from @TomMillerNews on X dot com (formerly Twitter) the everything app:

    "Good news! Tux has been reunited with his human.

    Early this morning I talked to Palash Pandey who says the cat went missing in Austin after a Lyft driver took off with it following his ride to the vet.

    He told me Lyft hired private investigators and found Tux early this a.m."

  4. Boo Radley

    Two Possibilities

    One, the driver carelessly and cruelly tossed the cat out at random location, or two, next passenger took the cat upon exiting, and they chucked the cat at random location. My money is on number one - because I don't think a random passenger would take the cat unless he intended to keep it himself.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Two Possibilities

      ...and what happened to the blue pet carrier? Someone clearly did something with deliberation.

  5. pbgben

    I would have thought Lyft tracks the drivers? Could they not see where the driver stopped to "possibly" drop the cat off... What if a driver abducts someone? They must be able to track them

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      They could do that, but do they care? There are so many stories of criminal actions by Uber/Lyft/Bolt/etc. drivers and awful (if any) responses by those companies and that only media shitstorms make them act.

      "Because they value their costumers wellbeing and safety above everything else" boilerplate comment.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. steward39

    Once upon a time...

    When people wanted a ride, they called a "taxi". In most US jurisdictions, taxi drivers were registered with local law enforcement, with a background check.

    The idea of Lyft and Uber were originally ride-sharing for a fee. Sort of like hitchhiking but you pay for it. That was how they got around the taxi laws: it wasn't an F/T gig, like it is for many Lyft and Uber drivers now.

    We'll likely see more of this kind of thing happening...

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Once upon a time...

      Except the way Über and presumably Lyft are set up makes it wholly unsuitable for actual ride-sharing.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How did the cat end up covered in fleas in 2 days? Sounds like he wasn't caring for it well beforehand.

    1. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

      Contact with a flea infested cat, fox or other animal can result in very rapid infestation. One of my cats was covered in the things after brief contact with my neighbour's cat. Within a couple of days all four of my cats were infested, and the flea treatment from the supermarket did little to curb them. Thankfully, the stuff from the vet did work.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Contact with a flea infested cat, fox or other animal can result in very rapid infestation

        Silver tabby we had when I was a kid specialised in catching and eating squirrels (despite missing a hip joint on one side after having a physical discussion with a car..). We'd generally find the head and brush on the doorstep and the cat on one of our beds, covered in squirrel fleas..

        Whoo obviously didn't much enjoy the taste of cat blood because they never seemed to bite him.

        All our cats were/are kept up to date with flea treatment.

    2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

      We had a rescue lurcher (Saluki / grayhound), and he was by nature a hunter. After one session in the fields out back of the house he cam home with what we thought was ash all over his face. When we went to wash him we saw the "ash" moving around - it was in fact a mass of fleas. Special wash time for him (and me).

  8. DS999 Silver badge

    I hope the driver is fired from Lyft

    And Uber bans him as well just for good measure.

    It may not be possible to prove he committed any crime, but measures can certainly be made to insure he no longer makes a living doing what he's clearly unfit to do.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: I hope the driver is fired from Lyft

      [Devils' advocate ---> ]

      Agree entirely with the sentiment, if the driver is responsible. Occam's Razor etc. suggests he probably is (drove off, found cat in back, dumped cat out and kept the carrier to sell on Craigslist), but without actual proof this is straying into cancel-culture-land and Lyft is likely to be on the wrong end of an unfair dismissal lawsuit.

      If he is responsible he deserves everything that's hopefully coming to him. But he has to actually be guilty, not just assumed to be.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: I hope the driver is fired from Lyft

        What possible circumstance could cause the driver to say "what cat?" when he was called? Are we to believe that another rider got in and dumped the cat without saying a word to the driver such as "is this your cat?", or the driver noticing that happened. If I got into a Lyft and there was a cat my first assumption would be it was the driver's cat, so even if I hated cats and wanted to dump it I wouldn't because I would figure the driver would call the cops on me for dumping his cat out the door!

        Sorry, he's clearly guilty beyond a reasonable doubt because there is no reasonable scenario where he never knew there was a cat in the back of his car and it was taken/dumped by someone else.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I hope the driver is fired from Lyft

        Driver accepted rider with blue cat carrier. These things are not pocket-sized, and a blue one would be even more obvious. Rider very likely circled the car to load the cat, given he did so to remove it, but the driver left before he could remove it. Ok, that may well have been an honest mistake.

        But then not responding for two hours, then saying he didn't have the cat. What happened to it? This isn't a wallet that might slip between seat cushions; the carrier probably took up an entire seat. I'm fully convinced the driver knows how the cat and carrier left the vehicle. At best, it's gross negligence - left with the rider's cat (possibly an honest mistake) but wouldn't answer messages about it. At worst, it could be considered animal cruelty (abandoned the cat). Lyft would be quite justified in firing the driver.

  9. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Well Done, Lyft !

    What a caring company...

  10. Naich

    Going down the Xitter.

    Rathe than "tweeted/X’ed", can I suggest "Xcreted"?

    1. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

      Re: Going down the Xitter.

      I'd go with what others have suggested - so a Tweet is now a Xit. Where the "X" is proununced like in Romanised Chinese - which is an "sh" sound.

      So Tweeting now becomes Xitting, and prolific Xitters are are regarded as being "full of Xit".

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to new era.

    where you can kiss quality customer service goodbye.

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