Conductor Who Threw 'Stray' Off Train Faces Nation's Wrath

It was actually someone's pet cat, and it died in Russia's extreme cold after it was booted
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 22, 2024 9:12 AM CST
Conductor Who Threw Pet Cat Off Train Faces Russia's Ire
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/AlbertPego)

More than 300,000 people have signed a petition calling for a Russian train conductor to lose her job after she threw a pet cat off a train, believing it was a stray. The white and ginger tom cat, known as Twix, escaped from his carrier on a train traveling between Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburg on Jan. 11. The cat was found by the conductor, who forcibly ejected the animal from the carriage while the train was stopped in the town of Kirov, east of Moscow, per the AP.

Hundreds of people banded together in subzero temperatures to search for the animal, who was later found dead on Jan. 20, a little over a half-mile from the train tracks where he'd been left. Volunteers reported that Twix had perished from the severe cold and suffered a number of suspected animal bites. The incident has sparked widespread outrage in Russia, with thousands following the story on dedicated social media accounts. Others reshared viral footage of the cat being dropped into the snow in temperatures approaching minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit.

A separate petition calling for criminal charges to be brought against the conductor had gathered more than 100,000 signatures on Sunday, after being published online on Friday. Local authorities have so far declined to prosecute the conductor, who hasn't been publicly named. In a statement, Russian state train operator RZD vowed that it would change its rules on how employees should approach unaccompanied animals.

story continues below

"We sincerely regret the death of Twix the cat and apologize to his owners," the company said in a statement on social media. "To ensure similar incidents will not happen in the future, amendments are already being made to the documents used to transport pets on long-distance trains. Conductors will be prohibited from disembarking animals from carriages: Instead, animals will be handed to station workers who can contact animal welfare groups."

(More cats stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.