According to Wikipedia, a bodega cat (also referred to as a deli cat, store cat, or shop cat) is a cat that inhabits a bodega, which in New York City English refers to a convenience store or deli. Just like farm cats and ship cats, a bodega cat is typically a mixed-breed cat kept as a form of biological pest control to manage and prevent rodent infestations.
Not only do these furballs judge the buyers and their purchasing choices, but they also provide comfort to workers after working hard all day long. However, bodega cats are technically illegal. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene considers them a “general deficiency,” raising concerns about the risk they pose for food contamination.
“Any animal around food presents a food contamination threat,” Robert M. Corrigan, a rodentologist and research scientist for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, told The New York Times. “And so that means anything from animal pieces and parts to hair and excrement could end up in food, and that alone, of course, is a violation of the health code.”
Despite the law and fines, many shop owners keep cats because they are seen as preferable to rodent infestations. Fines range from $300 for the first offense to $2,000 and higher for subsequent offenses.
Bodega Cats is a social media project dedicated entirely to celebrating these hard-working kittens and giving them the attention they deserve. People from around the world submit bodega cat photos to the project, and then they select the best ones to share with their followers.
Here are 30 photos of bodega cats that will help you overcome bad days and put a smile on your face. Don’t believe us? Scroll down to check for yourself!
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