Mia Jade Wilson was on a public bus when an argument between the driver and a hopeful passenger caught her attention.
As Wilson, 23, told Yahoo 7 News, she “felt compelled” to come to the assistance of the woman trying to board the bus in Leeds, England, when she heard what the altercation was about.
The woman was reportedly told by the bus driver that she could not board the bus unless she folded up her toddler's stroller. Her child would either have to walk on with her or she'd have to wait for the next bus. The bus had already reached its two-stroller capacity.
But folding down the stroller wasn't so easy, as the undercarriage was full of the woman's things.
Wilson resolved to let the mother and the driver know that one of the stroller spaces wasn't being occupied by a child but was being used to transport a cat:
“At first, when I saw the bus driver refuse her on, I stood up and stood by the doors whilst I asked the driver if he knew it was a cat in the pram.”
Wilson asked the cat's owner if she wouldn't mind moving to the other side in order to let the woman board but to no avail.
As Wilson told Yahoo 7 News:
“I just found it ridiculous that a cat in a pram would take priority over a child in a pram.”
Wilson took to the Leedsface bus company's Facebook page, calling the situation “disgusting.” She wrote in part:
When a CAT in a pram gets priority over a baby in a pram on the bus. Absolutely disgusting is all I can say! The lady that wanted to get on was told she can't get on if she doesn't fold her pram down. What an absolute disgrace FIRST BUSES are. I will be putting in a formal complaint. Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks this is wrong!!
Determined to let the woman board, Wilson moved her own son, who happened to be in the other stroller, out of his seat. Wilson snapped a photo of her 1-year-old sleeping next to the cat before she moved him:
The woman thanked Wilson for her help and placed her toddler, who was crying by this time, into his stroller seat.
As Yahoo 7 News reports, a spokesman for the bus company said the incident is under review:
“We're sorry to hear that some customers disagreed with the decision made by one of our drivers and we have therefore launched an investigation into this complaint. There is limited space on board our buses and therefore some customers will be asked to fold down their pushchairs before boarding. With the exception of assistance dogs, animals can only travel on board our services if they are secure.”
Wilson described the other passengers “rolling their eyes” that a cat was responsible for a mother and child almost not being allowed to board:
"No matter which way you look at it, I just think it's wrong that a cat has priority on the bus over the child. Surely there was another way of transporting a cat, like a standard cat carrier like most people use.
That way, it could have either gone under the seat on her lap meaning that valuable space is free for people that actually need it."
While some commenters on Wilson's Facebook post called the event “digusting,” others didn't agree.
Many felt that the cat/cat owner hadn't done anything wrong:
Rachel Kajese wrote:
The cat & owner has just as much right as anyone else to be on that bus!
Rosheen James asked:
What if they can't carry a heavy object?
David Bower agreed that rules are rules:
As the rules stand it's first come first served. the driver can't ask anyone to leave the bus if their [sic] not being disruptive.
Beverley Green pointed out perhaps the cat and owner were en route to the vet:
The cat owner is in the right. If she can't drive or afford taxi's to the vets what else should she do, let the cat suffer?
Gaby Sinead said:
It's not a pram, it's a pet transporter for those who can't lift or carry boxes, and where on earth would she put a cat you can sit your child on your knee a cat would be terrified and could end up escaping
Still, Wilson found the whole thing to be a disgrace:
“It's just disgraceful and I'm just completely shocked.”
What do you think?