PORT AUTHORITY 9:45 a.m. Christmas morning — I resigned myself to a slight layover after being a mere one minute late for the morning NJ Transit bus. I sat on the floor cross legged using my jacket as a mat after wandering around the terminal with three bags in hand before realizing that — jeezus, really? — Port Authority has a severe and tragic dearth of places to sit. Camped out between a growing line of other Toms River-bound New Yorkers, all of us occasionally dodging pigeons that swooped in overhead, I noticed, without any humor, that there were more pigeons in the terminal than seating options.
Through my headphones I heard an approaching sound of faint screeching mixed with muffled thrashing. A blue-shirted authority employee rounded the corner, distastefully holding a box in hand away from his body like an infected football. I involuntarily started laughing to myself: the first thing that popped into my head was this scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. How ridiculous that is, i thought.
Except that was exactly what was happening. The employee looked back and forth a few times before calling the elevator and stepping inside with his box o feline (warning: half-assed shaky video follows).
The cat — like the pigeons, I figured — had wandered into the building until it was finally captured by the employees. “Do you want it?” the guy yelled at me when he saw me filming him. Uh, no thanks, I’ve already packed all my cats for the year, thank you.
The elevator doors closed. People in line for the bus chuckled and turned back to books or conversation. Fifteen minutes later, I heard the screeching again: the employee had come back up a nearby set of stairs, still holding the box, now looking frustrated, tired and unsure. A solution to get rid of it apparently had yet to present itself, and he was looking for his next option. But it was already sealed in a box, so the answer popped into my head, and I started chuckling to myself again:
“Wrap the damn cat.”