A Wellington-bound train was delayed after a cat snuck onboard and scratched the driver so badly a replacement had to be brought in.
The grey short-haired male cat was discovered in a closed carriage of the Masterton to Wellington service last week, The Wairarapa Times Age reported.
KiwiRail marketing and communications manager Nigel Parry said the train manager tried to catch the cat but he was scratched so severely he required medical attention and a replacement driver was brought in.
"It's very unusual indeed, in fact when I spoke to the train manager after his hand had been bandaged up he said he had been working in trains for four decades and it was first time he has been attacked by a cat," he said.
The cat was thought to have boarded the train in the Wairarapa, and was found in Wellington.
"We have no intention to charge a fare and we are obviously appealing for the owner to contact the Wellington SPCA for its return. We can also assure we won't be charging the owner a fare."