Lyft driver left with a man’s cat. It led to a viral search to reunite it with its owner.
Tux the cat went on an unforgettable journey.
Some stories leave you scratching your head. Palash Pandey found himself in the middle of one of those moments that has you questioning if you're currently experiencing real life and the story is wild.
Pandey was doing what any good pet owner does, taking his cat to the vet. That's right around when the story gets so weird that you'd think it was an elaborate prank.
It wasn't. The cat dad used Lyft, a ride share app to get his cat, Tux to the vet appointment. He put the cat's carrier on the floor of the back passenger seat and he slid in behind the driver but when they arrived to the veterinarian's office, the driver took off. With Tux still in the car. Pandey immediately started banging on the car window and shouting to let the driver know Tux was still in the backseat.
To the man's dismay, the car sped off ignoring his pleas, texts and calls. That's when the desperate man took to the internet looking for advice.
Reddit users were instantly invested in this strange cat theft. In the post Pandey explained that he called and texted the driver but Lyft limits customers to three calls and texts to the driver. The driver never responded so he called 911 hoping the police could help but they transferred him to 311, where a report was made. He even tried offering the driver money to bring the cat back but the driver didn't bite.
Commenters put on their detective hats and were officially on the case. One person writing out step by step what likely happened and what Pandey should do next, including checking animal shelters, bushes, under cars and contacting the local news.
In one of his updates he says the driver called him after being contacted by the Austin Police Department. After explaining he was allergic to cats and would've cancelled the ride had he known there was a cat in the carrier...but he still never said what happened to the cat according to Pandey's post.
Eventually investigators from Lyft got involved and things moved quickly. Pandey shared what the Lyft investigator allegedly said:
"Cat ran up a set of stairs on the back of the building next to it. The team was able to get her caught up at the top of the stairs and she was too scared to jump from up there. I was able to give my over shirt to the team member at top of the stairs to wrap her up in and had an extra cat carrier that I brought with me just in case of."
"She looks very tired, is covered in fleas and dehydrated. She started eating wet food again which is a good sign but I'll monitor her and take her to the vet as soon as she calms down and stabilizes a bit. I would update again once I hear from the vet," Pandey included in his last update.
It's wonderful that Tux was able to make it home. The cat carrier was never located but according to CBS Austin, the now viral tuxedo cat has a clean bill of health.
Watch the update below: