Cat Caper in the Underground

A red circle highlights the tiny kittens after they were discovered underneath an escalator unit at London’s Moorgate station; photo from the Daily Mail.

A lost mother cat found a hideaway she thought would be a safe place to give birth but, according to the Daily Mail, workers at a London underground station who found the mom and her new litter had to act fast to get them out of harm’s way. It seems mama made her “birthing suite” underneath a new escalator unit that was only hours away from a test run.

Mother and kittens, reunited; image courtesy of RSPCA via the Daily Mail

The unit is in the Moorgate station, one of London’s busiest tube stations, which has been undergoing a renovation and expansion to service the Crossrail Elizabeth Line. The workers got in touch with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), and animal welfare officer Siobhan Trinnaman responded to the scene. When she arrived, she found the four kittens in the escalator pit, but the mom was nowhere to be seen. “It’s very dangerous for cats, as it’s where the mechanism is to run the escalator,” said Trinnaman. With the escalator test scheduled for 6 p.m. that evening, Trinnaman had to act fast.

“They (the workers) were very concerned that if [the cats] remained there and the escalator was running, they would be injured or killed,” said Trinnaman. “I found the four tiny kittens and moved them to safety before setting a trap for the mum.” After a few hours, the mother was captured and reunited with her babies at the RSPCA’s local facility. The kittens, one girl and three boys, have been named after Tube stations. They are called Bow, Colin, Dale and Earl, after Bow Road, Collindale and Earl’s Court. The staff called the mom “Elizabeth,” after the Elizabeth line. They are trying to locate the owner, because the cat was wearing a collar, though she had no microchip.

Watch a video of the feline foundlings, courtesy of the Daily Mail.

Riled Rodent Shocks Shoppers

A frame taken from video shows the moment a rat leaps toward a man who was trying to walk past it on an escalator at a shopping mall in Manila, Philippines; image from DailyMail.com.

Shoppers at a mall in Manila, Philippines, were forced to face their fear recently when a manic rat aggressively charged them as they walked down a stopped escalator, the Daily Mail reports. Video posted on the newspaper’s website shows the rat lunging at people as they try to make their way past, prompting the shoppers to jump and sidestep their way to safety. After giving several of the shoppers what appears to have been the jolt of their lives, the restive rodent is seen running down and off the escalator and under a nearby rack of clothing. No reason was given for the escalator being stopped.

This is Why They Post the Signs

Philipp Bellessort holds his mangled MacBook. The computer was left broken and twisted after it got sucked into an escalator at a London Tube station; photo by Mercury Press via The Sun.

Philipp Bellessort, a 28-year-old budding entrepreneur, lost months of work and a GBP1,000 (US$1,300) computer while riding an escalator at a London Tube station, The Sun reported on October 13. Bellessort, in the process of launching a recruitment firm, was going home after meeting with a client. While stepping onto an escalator at the Bond Street station, he set his computer bag down on a step. “As I was halfway up, the bag got sucked into [the escalator],” he told the Sun. He heard the bag tear, then realized the MacBook inside was damaged. “When I picked it up and looked what damage had been done, I was in shock,” he said, adding that all of his client data and contacts were lost. “I started the company three months ago and I’ve worked for seven days a week, 18 hours a day since then. All that is lost,” he told The Sun. A Transportation for London spokesman said the incident was being looked into, but noted that posters and announcements warn riders “to keep their belongings clear of escalators.”