A strange thing happens when people board the T everyday—they watch each other, and Tweet about each other, venting on social media about those they have to stay crammed shoulder to shoulder with as they travel home.
On Tuesday night, riders on one Red Line train leaving work almost had a cat fight with a passenger they say was preventing them from boarding the public transit system because she had a feline in a baby carriage.
A second rider snapped a photo of the alleged animal in the stroller and said “Whats wrong with this picture? Many things,” and slapped the Twitter hashtag #strollercat onto it. He later Tweeted, “lets recap, cat, stroller, peak hours, capacity train. No, still not reasonable. Thing was gigantic.”
But while those riders were holding a grudge against the woman they say brought her pet on the T during rush hour, the owner of the cat was fighting back on Twitter—except neither party knew that the other was lashing out on the social media site.
It should be noted, there is an entire blog of said “Stroller Cat,” aptly dubbed in some instances as “urban cowboy,” and its adventures on the MBTA with the owner.
So who is at fault in this situation?
Well, according to the MBTA’s rules on animals taking a ride on the trains and buses, service animals are allowed on the T at all times, but smaller animals should be contained to lap-sized compartments when its busy.
During off-peak hours, non-service dogs are allowed at the discretion of T vehicle operators. Dogs must be properly leashed and are not allowed to annoy riders or take up a seat.
When it comes to smaller animals like felines, the T says that for safety and convenience during rush hours, small domestic animals must be carried in lap-sized containers and out of the way of exits.
Rush hour is described by the T at night as between “approximately 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.,” according to the website.
The “cat lady’s” ride on the T on Tuesday, and subsequent Tweets, were sent after the rush hour period, technically. But the complaints came rolling in at 6:20 p.m.
As for the stroller situation, the angst-y riders lashing out about AbyaDay’s cat companion’s choice of getting around can’t do much about that. While the T at one time considered banning the bulky strollers from being on board during busier hours, they backed away from the idea after getting a bunch of backlash from those who use them often—parents.