Cat reunited with owner after Lyft driver drives off with pet

Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 7:04 AM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KEYE) – It’s been a nerve-racking couple of days for a cat owner in Austin, Texas, after a Lyft driver drove off with his precious pet on Saturday.

An intensive search for the cat took place over the weekend. On Monday morning, someone found the missing feline on the side of the road.

The cat’s owner, Palash Pandey, said he’s relieved that Tux is feeling good and back to being her normal curious self after 34 hours on her own.

“She’s doing really well. No issues at all. She just had some fleas because she was outside. They gave like an ointment for that, but other than that she’s healthy. She’s fine,” Pandey said.

Pandey said he used Lyft to take Tux to a vet appointment Saturday afternoon. When he got out and started to walk around the car to get his cat, he said the driver took off with his pet still inside.

“Just walking from one door to the other and just doing that, he started peeling off. I’m running behind him banging on his doors and banging on his windows, and he just takes off.”

Lost cat flyers went up in north Austin, and Lyft put alerts on its app to help find Tux.

Early Monday morning, investigators Lyft hired found her one mile from the vet clinic – not in her carrier.

Pandey thinks the entire situation could have been avoided if the driver had either stopped or not waited hours to answer his messages.

“I tried communicating with him in every way possible, and he did not respond to me. He only called me back once police called him first,” Pandey said.

Lyft is investigating what happened, and the company said it will take care of Tux’s vet bill.