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Kitten rides BART 55 miles


At six months old, Lizbeth wandered out of her yard in Castro Valley, California, walked about eight blocks to a BART station, got onto a Daly City-bound train and crossed San Francisco Bay.

Quite a journey -- even for a cat!

Lizbeth used public transportation to travel nearly 55 miles and still wound up safely tucked in her owner's arms by Tuesday morning, less than 24 hours after her trip began.

"She's quite a traveler," said Lizbeth's owner, Nadine Meyer. "She's a tough little thing."

Cats, just like every other animal except guide dogs, typically aren't allowed to roam free on Bay Area Rapid Transit. Somehow Lizbeth, a cute kitten with big feet and a long, striped tail, was allowed to break the rules.

Lizbeth's adventure started on Friday, when Meyer had her spayed at a Castro Valley veterinary hospital. By Monday, Lizbeth was getting a little feisty, so Meyer let her play out on the front lawn for a little while. She swears she turned away for only a few seconds and Lizbeth was gone.

No one knows exactly how Lizbeth got to the BART station. They do know that Lizbeth walked onto the train herself, because a BART agent saw her and contacted Vera Linnell, who works at the control booth in the Lake Merritt station.

But a passenger claimed Lizbeth between the two stops and refused to hand her over. Somewhere between Lake Merritt and Daly City, either the woman had a change of heart or Lizbeth made a really bad impression, because the passenger gave the kitten to a train operator there.

Linnell drove the kitty from the Lake Merritt station to her home in Hayward and began calling Castro Valley veterinary hospitals to track down the cat's owner. Meyer, meanwhile, also had been calling area hospitals to see if anyone had turned in her kitten.

It was just a matter of time before both women called Hill's Veterinary Hospital and doctors there arranged a reunion at the office. By Tuesday morning, Lizbeth was back with Meyer, who said she won't let the kitten out of her sight.

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