A negative review in Yelp complaining that bodega cats are a health code violation and the ensuing catfight on social media about the issue has promped a Brooklyn resident to start a petition to legalize cats in city bodegas.
“The fact that cats are not legal in bodegas but dogs are legal in restaurants is a complete joke. Allow cats in bodega and keep dogs out of restaurants,” states the Change.org petition created by Nicholas McMurry.
The petition, which currently has 224 of the 500 signatures needed in order to reach Mayor Bill de Blasio, also noted that cats would “keep rodents out of food products and keep other pests at bay. You don't want to see (fecal) matter from rodents in a bodega right?”
The snafu started after Yelp reviewer Diane D. gave S.K. Deli Market, on the corner of Second Avenue and East 5th Street in the East Village, a one-star review.
“I’ve ordered from SK before and the sandwiches are pretty good. Today, however, I decided to stop in and grab a sandwich. To my dismay- there was a cat, perched upon some cases of Budweiser in the middle of the store!! Besides being allergic to cats, I wonder what the health code says about this?” Diane said in the Sept. 9 review.
Though the review has since been deleted, it lives on thanks to screenshots from other users, which helped it go viral—and land S.K. dozens of positive reviews.