Japan’s subway system is so easy to use that even a cat can use it.
Since 2013, a cat has been spotted riding the subway in Tokyo and people have been snapping pictures of it, according to RocketNews24. The color of the subway seats that the cat sits on in the pictures, as well as the days and years of the tweets shows that the cat has been riding public transport from 2013 and is still riding the subway now in 2016, with pictures as recent as March being shared on Twitter.
— 【BENちゃん®】 (@manpukuoya) January 17, 2016
“Looks like this cat is on his way home after a day of hanging out in Ikebukuro,” reads the caption in the tweet above.
The feline rides the Seibu Ikebukuro Line and does not appear to have an owner who rides with it. As seen in the various snaps uploaded by fellow subway riders, the cat is usually next to different people and has even been snapped alone at the gate, leading people to believe the cat rides the subway solo as it pleases.
— けいもんど@悪魔城HD (@fu_matu) August 30, 2013
“Cute cat in Ikebukuro Seibu ticket line ticket,” reads the caption in the tweet above.
People have been noticing that the cat has been riding the subway since 2013, according to Dodo, and just assumed that it gets on and off as it pleases; nobody seems to be bothered by the presence of the cat.
— iro (@irohamu) March 12, 2016
“I found the same cat riding the Seibu Ikebukuro Line,” reads the caption in the tweet above.
Japan is known for its fantastic public transport system that is ahead of its time, and always on time. The public transportation is also popular due to its cleanliness. Pets generally are supposed to be in animal carriers to protect people with allergies, prevent the seats from getting fur on them, and to keep people’s clothes hairless. But seeing as no one seems to travel with the cat, the people on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line seem to have accepted their fellow subway rider and they even tweeted about how polite he is.
According to Dodo, “this cat seems to have excellent subway etiquette. He never manspreads — instead, he keeps himself curled up in a neat, compact ball, so that other passengers have plenty of room. So courteous.”
— kumikoy (@kumikoya2737) July 12, 2015
“Cat you are now accustomed to the Seibu Line train,” reads the caption in the tweet above.
The cat usually rides the subway alone and at different times of the day, but a few pictures uploaded to Twitter show the cat traveling around downtown Tokyo with another cat friend, a small kitten that people riding the subway just leave be and while enjoying its company.
— 尾形誠 (@macop_fl) August 4, 2013
“Dangerous and cute it seems to be the famous cat of Seibu line,” reads the caption in the tweet above.
According to Grapee, the cat riding the subway is a sight for sore eyes for tired commuters, but it seems the cat gets tired as well.
— hama_bot (@hmmtkntr) August 24, 2014
“I was riding with a cat on the Seibu line,” reads the caption in the tweet above.
Although a cat riding the subway unaccompanied for years seems unusual, it is not the first time a pet has taken the opportunity to ride public transport without an owner, according to Dodo.
Last year, a man in the UK, Thomas McCormack, was left speechless when unbeknownst to him his pet dog Paddy escaped from their backyard, followed him to the train station, got on the train, and then sat down on the seat next to him.
“I jumped on the train and the next thing I know Paddy comes in and sits on the seat next to me,” he said. “I was shocked. He just looked at me as if he was saying ‘Where are you going?'”
It was later discovered and filmed that the dog used the trampoline in the backyard to escape. Despite the dog’s motive and escape being clear, the subway traveling cat is still a bit of a mystery. No one knows who owns the cat, if anyone, and whether they know what the cat is up to on the subways of Tokyo.
[Photo via Photopin]