Cats Prowl the NYC Bodegas and Keep Rats Away

The New York Times today had a piece about working cats who help out in delis and small bodegas all over NYC. The store owners say they’re invaluable, patrolling the aisles looking for rats and mice.

The problem is that the health department has laws against keeping cats and other pets on the premises. But the alternative, say the shopkeepers, is a mass rat problem. One man who worked in an East New York deli said that a little marmalade kitten named Junior made all the difference.

“I used to have to put the bread in the freezer,” he said. Within weeks, the rats had fled. The other bonus is that the cats bring the dead mouse and rat bodies out to proudly show their masters, while the exterminators victims often die underneat the refrigerators, causing terrible smells.

“He wants me to get rid of the car, but the rats will take over if I do,” said one store owner,