Arthur and August, the kittens spotted scurrying around under the third rail at the B/Q stop near Church Avenue last Thursday, have parlayed their mega-stardom into a luxe cardboard cat-tower six-stories high.
As you probably recall, subway service was shut down for more than two hours last week while the M.T.A. attempted to coax the Arthur and August out of harm’s way with the promise of cat snacks.
The pair were finally fished from the tracks almost 7 hours after they were first noticed, and not before igniting a debate that distinguished Republican mayoral candidate (and former M.T.A. chairman) Joe Lhota from the rest of the field: Lhota boldly declared the kittens should be left for dead rather than delay subway riders.
Luckily, we still live in Bloomberg’s New York, a place where subway kittens can dream of one day growing up to become residents of a palatial Bushwick pad like the one where Arthur and August now live–complete with a towering cardboard box fort, a homemade scratching post, and all the Cinnamon Toast Crunch a cat could ever want.
The sweet digs were built by Steven Liu, skilled scratch-post craftsman and occasional scratch-post himself. Liu built a cat playroom in his basement of his duplex, where he now takes in shelter cats.
The subway kittens are taking to their new surroundings. “My roommates helped me rearrange the kitten towers so that there are a lot hiding places when they get scared,”Liu writes. “When we’re down there, the kittens are pretty calm and will start purring when we pick them up for some good old chin and butt scratches.”
To review, your kitten voting guide:
Let the kittens die: Joe Lhota
Don’t let the kittens die: Anthony Weiner, Bill Thompson, Christine Quinn
“Not my problem”: John Catsimatidis, George McDonald
Not brave enough to touch the third rail of metropolitan politics: Everyone else
Send story tips to the author, Tessa Stuart