If you are from New York, you may already be familiar with the “bodega cats,” but for the rest of us, here’s a little bit of background. Corner stores in NYC are also known as bodegas, and they sell everything from snacks, sandwiches, drinks, and beer, to cleaning supplies and paper goods…and most of them house a friendly cat!
But after one woman discovered a cat actually LIVING in her favorite bodega, she completely lost it, posting negative review on Yelp!, the review site for restaurants and businesses.
The public was angry at the woman for giving the well-known bodega a single star only because of a cat! Dozens of people came to the bodega’s defense, claiming that bodega cats are the lifeblood of bodegas! The cats earn their keep by chasing out rodents, specifically rats, that NYC has such a problem with.
One person went so far as to say “I refuse to enter a bodega that DOESN’T have a cat.” And another who contemplates that the woman “apparently prefers bodega rats.”
A health inspector wants me to get rid of the cat, but the rats will take over if I do,” one bodega manager said. “I need the cat, and the cat needs a home.”
While a bodega can be fined anywhere between $300 and $2,000 for having a cat on the premises, the fines for having rats or miscellaneous rodents being found on the premises is exponentially more expensive. This leaves bodega owners with only one real solution.
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