Bodega Cats In Their Own Words: Sheeba and Victoria of Park Slope, Brooklyn

Friday, August 08, 2014

bodega cats in their own words (Amy Pearl and Jennifer Hsu/WNYC)

Sheeba's days as the "queen of Park Slope" are nothing but smooth sailing. Blocks away, Victoria waits for her boss to open the gate so she can start her day.






More in:

Comments [21]

Margaret from Park Slope

I live in the Slope and I know Sheeba-- great cat. But her home is not a bodega, it's a candy store. If we're to celebrate iconic NYC establishments we should try to get it right. Candy stores like this one sell newspapers out front, cigarettes and Lotto, magazines, candy bars, single-serve snacks, drinks, pour-it-yourself coffee, but no groceries. Sheeba's store has an ATM, whose receipts are headed Park Slope Candy Shop. Back in the day candy stores also sold Spaldeens in season, and had a soda fountain that sold egg creams. Isaac Asimov worked in the family's candy store after school, not the family's bodega.

Oct. 07 2014 01:44 PM
Cat McKenney from Harlem, New York

What a wonderful series! Thank you.
And just in case you are taking suggestions, I have one. Visit Dutch Flower Line on 28th Street or G.Page Flowers on 28th Street (both are wholesale flower markets; bodegas for flowers!) - each has a cat on staff. Not exactly bodega cats, but valued in just the same way by all of us folks who are lucky enough to see them.
Please keep making your delightful videos!
Cat McK

Aug. 21 2014 04:32 PM

Anyone know where Oliver's bodega is precisely on the UWS?

Aug. 21 2014 04:00 PM
Maria Barraza from Manhattan

We adopted the son of a bodega cat aka "big head" who lived in a bodega in the garment center in NYC. "Big Head" would
wait every day, after he was fed of course, for the manually operated elevator to go upstairs to visit his various girlfriends upstairs in the garment factories. Well, of course, he knocked up Jenny, a sweet calico that lived in the factory we were
using to sew our line. "Nabe", son of Big Head and Jenny was born on Bill Blass fabric, an adorable black and white kitty
with the will of his dad-after we took him home he found a way to open the refrig and help himself to his food when we
were off at work-as well as the sweetness of his those Bodega Cats, great piece!
Maria Barraza

Aug. 13 2014 01:10 PM
Emily from Ridgewood, Queens

I love that the owners narrate the inner voice of the cats. Wasn't there talk at one point of the Health Department cracking down on cats in delis? Did that get anywhere? Ugh- Department of Health... I understand that they're there to prevent preventable illnesses but they have gotten really over the top in the past few years.

Aug. 13 2014 10:51 AM
ingrid Cusson from Berlin/Germany

I lived in Park slope and now, it's two years ago I moved to Berlin, Germany. Loved the stories, they made me very homesick, but here are cats too, one roams the large backyard of our building and kills a bird once in a while, but there also lives a fox and a hedgehog.
Thanks for the stories

Aug. 12 2014 01:29 AM
APJH from Crown Heights

I love these videos as much as I love the bodega cats themselves. Whenever I move to a new neighborhood, I scope out the local bodegas and frequent the one with the kitty!

Aug. 10 2014 05:41 PM
C from Bay Ridge

I love this series about the working cat! If you're ever in Bay Ridge, go to the Appletree Natural Market on 3rd Avenue between 79th and 80th Streets and meet Nicholas!

Aug. 10 2014 01:36 PM
Miriam Charney from Upper West Side, Manhattan

These are terrific. My Columbia Univ. nabe has a wonderful cat, Pancho (well, Pancho II or maybe III) who lives at the Samad Deli on Bdway. But, Pancho also resides at Sta Travel and sometimes at Possibilities, the card store in between. I call him ShopCat. He sleeps in various window displays, and everyone in the neighborhood - including ALL of the Bank Street School kids - knows him by name.

Aug. 08 2014 09:32 PM
sandy from sunnyside

love all the videos. brilliant

Aug. 08 2014 08:06 PM
Fletcher from Bed-Stuy

You should visit Catsup at Bedford Express near the Bedford-Nostrand G.

He's a war hero, a raconteur and the neighborhood MVP.

Aug. 08 2014 04:54 PM
brian from Flatbush

The bodega cat in my neighborhood loves the free range chickens who live in between the apartment buildings, in the little courtyard. You can see her studying those chickens, thinking up recipes. She looks at them so seriously. But the chickens are about three times her size. So she keeps to herself. Smart cat.

Aug. 08 2014 02:23 PM
jessica from New York, NY

All the bodega cats convene at

Aug. 08 2014 01:41 PM
SF from the Village

What a great series! If you move beyond bodegas to other kinds of stores, go meet Valentino, the big, burly, thick-necked cat who resides in Pet Kitchen on Christopher Street.

Aug. 08 2014 01:10 PM
PBnJ from Bklyn

You really captured the personalities of the people and cats. LOVED IT. I cannot remember a store in my old neighborhood that didn't have a "bodega cat" including the butcher! They keep the bug and mouse problem under control and are invaluable.

Aug. 08 2014 12:35 PM
tanta from Manhattan

This is a wonderful idea, and these are terrific videos - thanks for documenting the lives of these cats, their owners, and their homes. Unfortunately, all of this will soon be demolished in the onslaught of gentrification.

Sorry to sound so grim, but I've lived in neighborhoods with bodega cats, and bodegas, for years. It has been a total delight to have these creatures as neighbors but the stores, owners and cats are all disappearing, and with it another piece of the specialness of New York.

The cat meme on the internet flourishes while the real ones aren't allowed to - it's ironic.

Aug. 08 2014 12:04 PM
MICHAEL L CHERRY from Upper West Side, NYC

A most delightful video . Thank you!

Aug. 08 2014 11:07 AM
Michael Zullo from Upper East-side Manhattan

Excellent work, Amy and Jennifer.


Aug. 08 2014 10:56 AM
Angela from Colorado

I love these so much - the voices, the words, the images, the kittehs. Put together perfectly to provide the perfect glimpse into a Bodega Cat's life. I love it all. Great job!

Aug. 08 2014 10:53 AM
Taylor from Chelsea

Thank you for making these! They are wonderful. Please make more :))

Aug. 08 2014 10:33 AM
jan dutcher from bronx

these are "working" cats who deserve the love and attention that they are getting. Videos and commentary are terrific!

Aug. 08 2014 07:59 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.



Supported by