updated 08/30/2013 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 08/30/2013 AT 11:50 AM ET
It only took two kittens to stop New York’s subway in its tracks.
Power was cut to the B and Q lines in Brooklyn for more than an hour after a woman reported Thursday morning that her kittens were loose in the nation’s largest subway system, transit officials said.
The furry felines, one black and the other white with gray stripes, were finally found on the tracks and rescued nearly seven hours later.
How they made their way to the tracks was a mystery. But they were seen running dangerously close to the subway’s high-voltage third rail.
Power was suspended between several stops – about half the Q line and the B line’s entire length in Brooklyn – on both the local and express tracks for 90 minutes, Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman Judie Glave said. The express line was later stopped another half-hour while workers kept searching.
But the skittish kittens disappeared again (and again) before being discovered Thursday evening under the third rail of an above-ground express track. Police officers removed the kittens in crates, Glave said.
Officials said workers and passengers in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood had been on the lookout for the kittens, and train operators were asked to proceed with caution. If they saw anything moving on the tracks, they were required to stop and notify the rail control center.
Though some passengers wanted to help by scouring the tracks, they were turned down by MTA workers citing safety concerns. The cats’ owner did rush to a subway station with cat food, though, giving it to the transit workers who were dispatched to try and corral the elusive furballs.
While the effort on behalf of the kittens created delays for passengers, the Q operated a shuttle service between two of its normal Brooklyn stops, said transit officials, who couldn’t immediately provide the cost of the extra service and rescue operation.