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  • Writer's pictureBritt Leigh

SEPTA Commuters Display Cat-Like Qualities while Commuting

February's edition of the 9536 Chronicles are hot off the press and in distribution today! For this month's sneak peak, I decided to practice a bit of Onion-like satire. The other three stories included in the Chronicles have a lot to do with love... sorta.

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Cat or dog? It’s the age old ‘this or that’ question that typically stirs up quite the controversy. A Gallup poll from 2006 stated that 40% of Americans owned dogs and only 29% of Americans owned cats, potentially settling the dispute between the American attitude towards dogs and cats.

Or does it?

A recent SEPTA survey revealed that most SEPTA commuters display cat-like behaviors during their train commutes. The Chronicles got the inside scoop from the SEPTA Survey Master himself, Quest I. Onking.

“It all started with a commuter complaint that was filed with us a few months ago. The complainant mentioned feeling ignored and invisible to fellow SEPTA passengers. It was only when the SEPTA passengers needed something from her, such as to be excused to walk past or have access to the seat next to her, that they were suddenly more kind. Otherwise, both passengers and staff were cold and aloof. Her complaint specifically stated, ‘I feel like I’m surrounded by a bunch of cats.’ So, we decided to do a little research of our own,” Quest explained.

The two-hundred and thirty-question survey consists of questions similar to the following:

  • Do you avoid eye contact with fellow commuters when they board the train?

  • Are you ever excited to see other train passengers, even if you had just seen them this morning?

  • Do you refrain from speaking to fellow passengers unless it is to fulfill one of your commuting needs?

  • Do you have a favorite passenger you like to sit next to, even if you’ve never spoken to them before?

  • When someone sets their bag on the seat, do you ever get the urge to bat it down?

  • Do you greet everyone you see with a smile or ‘hello’?

  • Do you ever feel scared when a person gets too close to your personal space?

  • Do you ever wonder what fellow passengers do when they aren’t on the train with you?

The answer to each question is rated either a ‘C’ or a ‘D.’ At the end of the survey, the survey masters add up the number of ‘C’s’ and ‘D’s’ on each survey, which gives the survey-taker their score. The more C’s a commuter has, the more likely they are to emulate cat-like behaviors.

“We were shocked by the results. Ninety-nine percent of SEPTA passengers have overwhelmingly scored high on cat-like qualities. It’s as if SEPTA passengers see the train the same way a cat sees their food dish; constantly void of sustenance and love. So far, only one passenger received a ‘D’ rating. His name is Scout,” Quest said. “Scout’s owner, however, received a ‘C’ rating.”

While the results seem to be overwhelmingly conclusive, the survey falls short of explaining the phenomenon. Perhaps it is a way for us to protect ourselves from the very negativity we inadvertently give to others, or maybe it’s a rejection of our human form. No matter the reason, one thing is for certain, we all deserve a catnap.

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