Cats have lived with man for thousands of years. Mankind’s lifestyle came with a ready food source for cats, and the cats were happy to oblige with cleanup duties. Fast forward to the 21st century and we find some things have not changed. In fact, sometimes the right person for a job is a cat!
“The bodega cat is the urban world’s most magnificent beast. Sometimes colloquially called the “deli cat,” these kitties eke out a working existence in the often-raggedy corner stores which pepper grand metropolitan areas.”(Catster.)
“Bodega Cats are a hardworking breed of kitty kinfolk who call the corner shops of New York City home. These illegal workers earn their place by keeping pesky vermin at bay, in exchange for food and shelter. Last month, an excellent four minute naturestyle documentary emerged that exposed the triumphs and tribulations of these majestic creatures, whose main predators include Health Department representatives who threaten to evict them.” (Working Cats.)
The many cats which inhabit the “ma-andpa” groceries, bakeries and delicatessens of ethnic neighborhoods of New York are referred to as bodega or store cats, but “the term bodega appears to be exclusively used in New York City.” Many of these felines are not feral—their function in the store is not just to keep the shopkeeper company, but rather to keep the mice away. While the actual Spanish