PSA: Don’t narc out bodega cats on Yelp or you will be furiously mocked

PSA: Don't narc out bodega cats on Yelp or you will be furiously mocked
no. Via SynKami on Twitter.

Yes, having a bodega cat is not technically “legal,” but it’s not “legal” in the way that drinking wine in the park or bringing your dog into a bar isn’t legal, which is to say it’s an accepted form of New York life that no one minds so long as you don’t make a big deal of it. Yet someone did make a big deal of it in a (what now appears to be deleted) Yelp review of S.K. Deli in the East Village last month, revealing themselves as potentially a fresh-off-the-bus noob or maybe someone who has somehow never needed beer, condoms and Windex in the middle of the night.

The, reviewer, Diana D., has been getting roasted by fellow Yelpers with comments like: “No one likes you. This deli has pretty much anything you might want out of a deli. Owner is a hard ass but the cat is awesome,” which is about the perfect description for most bodegas in New York. UPDATE: Someone created a petition to legalize bodega cats once and for all.


We can disagree on the value of cats (they’re bad, IMO! Furry black holes that suck up all human attention around them and spew out allergens. But hey that’s just MO). But bodegas keep them around to help scare off mice and rats, and I would definitely rather have a cat around my food than a mouse or rat. They’re the unofficial mascots of bodegas citywide, spawning Twitter accounts, adoption programs, Tumblr tributes and much more, and they’re one of the few joys that can make this bleak, uncaring city seem a little softer, and pet-able, for a moment or two.

Gothamist’s Ask a Native New Yorker tackled this topic a few years ago, basically telling people to suck it up, pop a Claritin and leave the cats alone.

In conclusion, it is unzen to resent the world for not changing to suit your needs. Long term you will be happier if you adapt yourself to its imperfections. Or, I don’t know, try Amazon Prime 1-hour delivery—I think they’re serving Harlem now!

Bodega owners could face $300-$2,000 in fines, according to the Times, so consider not narcing out one of these small businesses on Yelp. If you see say a bodega snake, however, all bets are off.

More cat defenders to the Yelp rescue.
More cat defenders to the Yelp rescue.

Follow Tim on Twitter right meow @timdonnelly.

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  1. Conal Darcy

    I think the real question here is, who the fuck Yelps about a bodega? It’s a bodega. You know how you know if a bodega is good? You go to it. If it’s not, you stop going to it and go to a different bodega. Are they all really that terrified of having a less-than-stellar Customer Service Experience® that they won’t step into the store without seeing if it has more than three stars on some website?

    And get off my lawn!

  2. Lauren O

    It’s also really awful for the cat. Right now, it has caring owners. The ACC shelters are overrun with dogs and cats, and the euthanasia list had dozens of animals every single night. I hope they don’t have to now remove it from the premises, and if they do they have somewhere to take it besides the shelter. What a thoughtless, selfish person to make such a review.

  3. So basically, this article says that it should be ok for bodega owners to cop-out on pest control because they have a cat, even though said cat is illegal for health reasons. Are you hipster retards serious?

    • It’s not being a hipster you DICK it’s called being a native New Yorker. I don’t care what borough you go to where there is a Bodega there is a cat. Obviously you are the type to consider Walgreens and Duane reade your corner local store. New York isn’t for you get the fuck out we don’t want you anyway.

  4. Al-Hajji Frederick H Minshall

    The first time I see one of these disease-ridden “community” vermin in or near an establishment at which I’m considering dining, I will:

    (1) Do an about-face and find somewhere else to eat
    (2) Notify the municipal health dept.
    (3) Notify the local office of US FDA

    Thank you.

  5. Al-Hajji Frederick Minshall

    The first time I walk into a retail food purveying establishment and see one of your disease-ridden “community” vermin therein, I will react the same way I would if I saw a large, scabrous rat scurrying across the floor:

    (1) I will exit said establishment immediately and find sustenance elsewhere
    (2) I will notify the local health dept.
    (3) If I get nowhere with them, I will notify the nearest US FDA office.

    Do we understand one another? Public health is more important than willfully ignorant, maudlin sentiment or nostalgia for unsustainable “traditions”.

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