The cats captured the city's heart — with the exception of Joe Lhota — even after shutting down the subway and making people late, so you know they've got to be special. Arthur and August, better known as the subway kittens, have finally found a real home after weeks in the possession of Animal Care & Control and a foster dad (including a visit to The Colbert Report) following the announcement last week that they were finally ready for adoption.
Their new owners, Katherine and Keith (family alliteration, awww), are a married couple living in Brooklyn. They spoke with Daily Intelligencer about the process of taking home the Internet's cats-of-the-moment, who have only thrown up once so far.
What was your reaction when you first found out about the vagrant kittens?
Compassion! Mixed with relief that they weren't hurt and that we weren't the train conductor or switch operator who had to have the fast reflexes to save them.
At what point did you think about adopting them?
Immediately. That is, as soon as we heard on Friday that they were up for adoption. We had been thinking about adopting rescue cats for a while, and specifically wanted two bonded kittens, so it wasn't out of the blue. Just perfect timing. And these two have a crazy special bond!
I imagine they were more popular orphans than most cats — did you do something special to get picked?
The process was so smooth, and all the credit should go to Animal Care & Control of NYC and the exceptional people who care for the animals there. We sent our application on Friday, heard from Nicole at AC&C the next morning, and came to meet the kittens in the afternoon. We don't really know what made us stand out, since the application didn't exactly have an essay question. Maybe our desire to help rescue animals came through in the few words we were allotted to describe our interest in these guys. That and the fact that we've each been cat owners in the past, live in a relatively quiet place, and don't have kids or other pets.
How many other people wanted them?
When we showed up at the Animal Care & Control Center, they said that hundreds of people had applied.
Will Arthur and August get Twitter accounts? A blog? How do you plan to monetize their meme potential?
The biggest meme here is that there are tons of worthy animals out there still looking for loving homes, some of whom were probably rescued in the subway but without the excitement of shutting down the B and Q for hours. If this unusual story spurs some adopters who are on the fence about taking the plunge and adopting a cat or a dog, then that's the best possible ending. We also plan on selling the story to Hollywood as soon as we can for millions of dollars.
Because we're just dog people, not monsters: How are they doing?
They have a clean bill of health from the AC&C, where they received all their shots and were cleared for future adventures. They are also adjusting well to the apartment. A popular game seems to be sliding into the vacant spaces between and behind our books. They've found all the apartment's soft, sunny places and quiet nooks and have only vomited once. Neither of them has confessed, so we're not sure who did it.
A little about their personalities: They are having a rollicking good time getting to know their new kingdom. August (the black one) is the more adventurous one so far. He has big plans. He has also shown a noticeable preference for freeze-dried cod snacks. Arthur (the gray one) is pretty shy still, but once you're in with him he is a grade-A cuddler. What's sweet is that August wants Arthur to come along for all his adventures. He's not content until his brother is having a good time, too.
As you may have heard, mayoral candidate Joe Lhota was against stopping the train to save the kittens in the first place. We have to ask: Who are you voting for?
Bill de Blasio, for sure.