There are few things that are sacred to New Yorkers: eating pizza the right way, walking with purpose, hating Times Square.
Diana D. found out the hard way that bodega cats are also on that shortlist. For those uninitiated with this particular variety of feline, a bodega cat is a friendly kitty who lives in N.Y.C. corner stores and delis in order to drive away vermin and give people something to Instagram. They are sweet, silly and good company when you are buying an ill-advised meatball hero at 2 in the morning.
One customer, however, is not fond of bodega cats, and let her thoughts be known on Yelp, where she wrote a 1-star review of the S.K. Deli Market in the East Village, because of the bodega’s cat, Star.
“I’ve ordered from SK before and the sandwiches are pretty good,” the woman writes in the review. “Today, however, I decided to stop in and grab a sandwich. To my dismay — there was a cat, perched upon some cases of Budweiser in the middle of the store!! Besides being allergic to cats, I wonder what the health code says about this?”
These few sentences unleashed a tidal wave of support for the bodega and its resident feline, with many rushing to Yelp to give both five star reviews. Others chose to go a more negative route, calling out the woman on Twitter for not realizing that Star’s role is to keep the shop free of icky rats.
According to PIX11, the owner of the bodega and Star, Yung Sussio, says that many customers come by just to see the feline and give her the head scratches she loves. To Sussio and his employees that cat is considered a family member who brightens up the work environment, and is worth the potential $400 fine that can come from having a cat in the store.
It appears that many New Yorkers feel the same way, happily choosing a cat chilling on their Budweiser over no feline company and the increased threat of rats.