Don’t mess with the bodega cats.
Walk into any corner store a.k.a bodega in New York City, and you’ll find a variety of household goods, beer, probably a deli and almost definitely a resident cat. The cats keep the rats and mice away and in return, they get to hang out inside and take naps on the chip shelf.
Usually New Yorkers tend to ignore that bodega cats may be a health code violation, because most people would prefer to see cats hanging around than rats. But recently, one Yelper decided to break the golden bodega cat rule, and gave S.K. Deli Market in the East Village a 1 star review after noticing her bodega had a cat chilling on a stack of Budweisers. Big mistake.
Reviewer Diana D, who has since deleted her post, claimed she had ordered from the bodega before, but decided to pick up her food instead of getting it delivered. That’s when she noticed the adorable cat protecting its store.
“Besides being allergic, I wonder what the health code say(s) about this?” Diana asked in her review.
Twitter user SynKami took a screen grab of the review and shared it to his followers, harshly calling out Diana for complaining about the bodega cat.
Twitter promptly erupted, and the tweet has racked up more than 7,800 retweets at the time of writing.
S.K. Deli Market’s Yelp page was flooded with positive reviews on Wednesday, supporting both the deli and cat, who’s name is Ciao Bella, according to one Yelper.
According to a piece published in the New York Times about the controversy over bodega cats, fines could cost the bodega $300 to $2,000. However, a fine for rodent feces found in a store can also land a bodega with a $300 fine.
“Its hard for bodega owners because theyre not supposed to have a cat, but theyre also not supposed to have rats, Jos Fernndez, the president of the Bodega Association of the United States, told the New York Times.