Composite shows far away and up-close views of a cat on subway tracks, as well as photos of police officers attempting to rescue the cat and the cat after being rescued.
Animal rescuers and cops worked together to save a young kitten from an Upper East Side subway track after days of attempts | Sonia Izak

EXCLUSIVE: Kitten Saved from UES Subway Tracks by Cops & Animal Rescuers


Police and animal rescue specialists saved a shivering kitten from an Upper East Side subway station early Monday morning, trapping the cat to spare her from a perilous fate after she had spent at least a week walking across the tracks and under the third rail.

Aptly named Subway, the young black cat was saved from the East 96th Street-Second Avenue train station by neighborhood resident Sonia Izak, a volunteer animal rescue and rehabilitation specialist, in collaboration with officers from the Upper East Side’s 19th Precinct and Transit District 4 after several sightings, 911 calls, and a weekend of back and forth with the MTA. 

Photo shows a close up of a cat laying down on a  subway trackbed opposite the platform near the third rail.
The black kitten had been spotted inside the 96th Street-Second Avenue subway station for a week when rescue attempts began | Sonia Izak

“It was very imperative that we get this kitten out of there as soon as possible because it could have been electrified at any point in time,” Izak told Upper East Site in an exclusive interview. “The fact that it lasted down there for a week without being electrocuted is actually pretty miraculous.”

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Izak, who was on Long Island when she was alerted to the kitten last Saturday night, sent fellow animal rescuer Harley Brooks to find the cat. However, Izak says the MTA supervisor on duty would not accommodate the rescue because it would have required cutting power to the third rail.

Photo shows a wide shot of a cat laying down on a subway trackbed opposite the platform near the third rail. The cat is circled in red.
The black kitten was seen walking and lying down dangerously close to the electrified third rail | Sonia Izak

Izak and Brooks returned around midnight to try again. 

“The kitten was right there on the tracks,” Izak said. “I had the trap ready and everything, and unfortunately, we did not have the cooperation of the MTA to do anything.” 

Photo shows three NYPD officers, two off whom are setting up a metal cage trap as a third looks on.
NYPD officers helped rescue the kitten from the subway tracks | Sonia Izak

The next day, Sunday the 29th, Izak returned with cops from the 19th Precinct, including Officer Maharaj, whom she had previously worked with to free a dog from a hot car, as Upper East Site reported at the time. 


After four hours of searching, there were no sightings, but Izak says did learn from several MTA employees that the cat had first been seen as early as January 20th, meaning she had been cold, starving and alone for at least a week.

Photo shows an animal trap on the subway track bed between the tracks and the platform.
NYPD officers lowered the trap onto the tracks early Monday morning | Sonia Izak

The officers had to leave, but Izak stayed, tirelessly searching for the tiny animal. As Sunday turned to Monday, “at midnight, we found the kitten down one of the tunnels.”


Her police contact then called in officers from Transit District 4, the NYPD precinct that serves the Upper East Side’s subway stations, which allowed cops to lower the trap down to the track bed near the platform without turning off the power, since the electrified third rail runs on the opposite side of the tracks.

Photo shows a small black cat walking on the subway trackbed toward a laser's red dot.
A police officer used the laser on their taser to guide the kitten to the trap | Sonia Izak

“I had suggested we use the laser to lure the kitten towards the trap because it was further down the tunnel,” Izak said, referring to the lasers present on NYPD officers’ tasers. 

Finally, around 2:15 am Monday morning, “We were essentially able to just get the kitten to go straight into the trap following the laser, and immediately the trap closed, and we were able to raise the trap and have the kitten.”

Photo shows an NYPD officer holding a metal cage with a cat inside as a second cop look's on smiling.
After it entered the trap on the trackbed, police hoisted the kitten to safety | Sonia Izak

She then took Subway back to the 19th Precinct, where she hand-fed her, staying until 4:00 am. Officer Maharaj then took the kitten to the ASPCA in the morning. 

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Weighing only a couple of pounds and thought to be around three months old, Subway will be placed up for adoption when she recovers from her ordeal, which, Izak believes, could have been shorter had she had the full cooperation of the MTA. 

Photo shows an adorable small black cat inside a metal cage.
‘Subway’ the cat will be placed up for adoption after recovering | Sonia Izak

“[It] left us frustrated and discouraged,” Izak said of the MTA supervisor’s unwillingness to aid in the rescue. “It took a little over 24 hours, lots of patience and planning, but in the end, it all came together very smoothly, and we were able to rescue little Subway swiftly and safely, which is all that matters.”

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