The bodega cat abides

If you live in NYC, you by necessity have a favorite bodega (what some call a “corner store”). My favorite bodega changed hands this week after 20+ years being owned by the same couple that I had become fond of. Like most bodegas in NYC, they had a “bodega cat” that was always around. Bodega cats are well-loved in NYC, and it is expected when one makes a late-night run for beer, toilet paper, or diapers that you pay your respects to the bodega cat with a nice word and sometimes an ear scratch. (For the uninitiated, more about the love of bodega cats here and here.)

In no time, the entire interior of the place changed, but on my first visit with the owners there, I noticed that the same cat was still in the store. I asked the new owner if the bodega cat came with the store. He shrugged, smiled, and said, “Smokey’s been here for 18 years. He came with the store.”

Bodega cat photo from this Buzzfeed story.