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Tux the Cat Found After Lyft Driver Sped Off With Her



A Lyft passenger lived every pet owner’s worst nightmare this weekend after a driver drove off with his cat. The two were eventually reunited, but not before the cat’s owner and Lyft itself whipped up the public to help find the feline.

The story comes from a thread posted to Twitter (now known as X) by Palash Pandey. According to his account, Pandey lost his cat Tux on the way to a veterinarian appointment. As Pandey went to leave the vehicle, his driver, Daniel, apparently left the scene before Pandey could remove Tux and his carrier from the backseat. Pandey tried contacting the driver via the Lyft app before calling 911 and being transferred to 311. Then, he did what anyone in this day and age would do: Posted the situation to Twitter.

“@AskLyft My Lyft driver drove off with my pet cat still in the car,” Pandey tweeted on September 30. He followed up in another post: “I got off from the driver side door and started walking to the passenger side door to pick her up. Before I could open the door, the driver started driving. I banged on the back and passenger windows and screamed running behind him but he drove off.”

A few hours after Pandey reached out, Daniel finally responded but claimed he didn’t have the cat. Padney kept trying to contact the driver, but his attempts fell on deaf ears—until the Austin Police Department got involved. According to the thread, Daniel eventually called Padney after city police contacted him. He apparently said that he sped off because he was startled and that he was allergic to cats and would’ve canceled the ride if he had known Tux was a passenger. Nevertheless, Tux was located by Lyft’s own investigators days later just a little over a mile up the road from where she was last seen, as announced by the company in a tweet this morning.


“We’re so happy to report that Tux has been reunited with her owner and we are focused on ensuring Tux has everything she needs right now, including covering all of her veterinary bills,” A Lyft spokesperson told Gizmodo in an email. “We are actively working with all involved to fully understand the situation – to help prevent it from happening again.”

Lyft did not immediately return Gizmodo’s request for more information on what happened between Tux disappearing and being found. Prior to finding Tux, however, Lyft shared the news of the missing feline on its own blog. In it, Lyft asked local users to put up fliers around the area announcing Tux’s disappearance. Likewise, the company sent out a notification on the Lyft app, asking users if they had seen Tux while redirecting them to a designated email address. Lyft CEO David Risher chimed in on Twitter, saying “the initial response was awful” and that the company was “very focused on this.”

Regardless, losing a cat for a few days is not a good look for the driver or the ride-sharing company. While Lyft seemingly put a good-hearted campaign forward to find Tux, the issue speaks to a broader issue with gig workers in the first place. Contracting any average driver inevitably leads to a variety of joyrides, from light-hearted to deadly. Lyft and other ride-hailing platforms like Uber are able to cash out on the labor of drivers with seemingly little to no quality control or accountability.

Source: Gizmodo

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