It turns New Yorkers are willing to put up with a lot of negativity and cynicism in our city, except when it comes to bodega cats. If you mess with bodega cats, those lovable, mouse-chasing, not-exactly-legal mascots of bodegas citywide, the internet will come after you, and hard. So since we ran this story yesterday about someone taking to Yelp to complain about a bodega cat, we’ve heard from lots of people who have risen to the defense of the felines, and lots of tweets asking what kind of gentrifying monster would narc out a bodega cat on Yelp (and some who asked what kind of monster would use Yelp at all). One Brooklynite today decided to try to end the controversy once and for all by starting a petition asking the mayor to legalize the felines.
“As a long time New Yorker I grew up seeing cats inside of bodegas,” the petition’s creator Nicholas McMurry writes. “I would like to see it made legal to have cats in a bodega in New York City. Cats keep rodents out of food products and keep other pests at bay. You don’t want to see fecel [sic] matter from rodents in a bodega right? I don’t either.”
The petition needs
100 signatures now it’s 500 and only has a few as of this posting. It’s not clear how seriously McMurry is taking the issue, seeing as anyone can start a petiton for just about anything on change.org (we reached out to him for comment but haven’t heard back yet). He probably doesn’t do his cause any favors by also calling for the mayor to ban dogs in restaurants while allowing cats in bodegas.
It’s a health department rule on both city and state level that makes bodega cats illegal; owners can face fines of a few thousand dollars if they’re not in compliance. It’s doubtful a petition (and a poorly written one to boot) would change the health department’s stance on having animals around food, but hey what is our country if not a land of dreamers and online petitioners?
Here’s a sampling of other responses to YelpCatDegaghazi:
What kind of sick monsters narcs on bodega cats? https://t.co/AVmJhggKoS
— Travis W. Donovan (@twdonovan) October 26, 2016
Yo if you are appalled by the idea of bodega cats GTFO of NYC. Dumb transplant. https://t.co/oO6ZSGZh2K
— Morgan (@_molyso) October 26, 2016
No. Bodega cats are our friends. https://t.co/bMPWhQgqip
— David Slotnick (@David_Slotnick) October 25, 2016
LMFAO THERE AIN'T NOTHING ELSE LIKE NYC https://t.co/QX20ZXV3rf
— Nabiha Ali (@nabstacks) October 26, 2016
— Rosa Goldensohn (@RosaGoldensohn) October 26, 2016
R u kidding me?! For real?! When I was a kid, our beautiful house cat, Little Lady, was the offspring of two… https://t.co/steMPmPFsO
— Storm Marrero (@Storm_Marrero) October 26, 2016
Much like how New York reacted to a terror threat on these streets, we’re very serious about standing up for our own, even if our own includes lazy allergen machines blocking you from getting the good bread.
Follow Tim for more news from the litter-ati: @timdonnelly.