We’re number 2. It turns out that being number 2 is actually better than being number 1. Chicago holds the title for most rat-infested city in the United States. As I said, we’re number 2.
One of the creative ways we in NYC handle rats near our food is to put cats near our food. Cats = No rats. It’s a simple equation. Yet, there are some folks so put off by the idea that local bodega grocery store owners not only keep cats to protect their food, they love and honor them—as do their neighbors.
I learned about the bodega cats movement as I was waiting in line for the ferry at Rockaway Beach (a lovely spot. You can read my review here.) Anyway, the three women behind me could not stop talking about bodegacatsofinstagram. They were all followers, of course. I looked it up on Instagram—and learned that they have 100,000+ followers. As a lifelong fan of bodega cats, how could I have missed this?
That’s just a little background for the resistance story. Let me tell you about Diane D. (I would name a cat that, but not after this story.) Diane D was new to New York. She is a sensitive type with various allergies. She is also an obsessive Yelp reviewer. You can see already that there will not be a happy ending.
Shortly after her arrival last fall, Diane D wrote a scathing review of her local bodega—especially her horror at seeing a cat perched on some boxes of beer.
All hell broke loose. Legions of bodega cat lovers attacked. Diane D was forced to remove her review. Too late. Her entire Yelp history was scrubbed. I hear she left the city.
To better understand the bodega cats phenomenon watch this video of Victoria and Sheeba in their own words, voiced by their bodega owners.