Bodega's 'Attack Cat' Menaces Passing Pups
By Kiratiana Freelon on January 22, 2013 6:49am
UPPER EAST SIDE — Dogs just hiss her off.
February, a 5-year-old bodega cat, is a friendly feline — until Fido crosses her path, locals said.
Though beloved by the neighborhood's humans, the cat has become an infamous figure in the area after menacing the four-legged patrons of a doggie daycare located next door to her owner's Upper East Side candy store, sources said.
"If she sees a dog outside, she'll punch the glass with her paw," said Bharat Patel, manager of K & B Inc. Candy Store at 1107 First Ave., where February is a constant presence in the window.
February's favorite pastime is leaving the store and sauntering onto the sidewalk, stalking the dogs who enter and exit Running Paws, the doggie daycare next door.
"She's super sweet, but she does not like dogs. She sits outside of the store and chases the dogs away," said Running Paws staffer Shayna Cook, 25.
"One day, a client and his dog were stuck on the curb and couldn't come in. She was sitting there — blocking them — like it was her post. She sees them before they see her. She goes after them."
February — a Maine Coon adopted from the ASPCA five years ago to help chase mice away from the bodega — is so hostile to dogs, the store posted a "No Pets" sign warning patrons with pooches to steer clear.
One time, Patel recalled, a woman with a dog was talking on her cell phone and did not see the sign.
"There was blood everywhere — the woman's blood. She was trying to stop the cat from fighting the dog," Patel said. "She said, 'I'm going to call the police.' I said 'Call the police. There's a sign, 'no pets.'"
"She's a cool cat," a customer interrupted, not looking up from his scratch-off lotto game. "She's a famous cat."
Asked to respond to allegations of dog attacks, February blinked and fell asleep.
Only one plucky pooch — a three-legged canine known as February's "boyfriend" — has stood up to her by coming directly to the door each time he passes by, the owner said. February goes up to the door and hits it, but the dog stares her down, locals say.
Despite February's known distaste for dogs, she's a neighborhood fixture.
"All the girls come here just to pet the cat," said Francisco P., a neighborhood resident. "In my next life, I want to come back as a cat. Women love cats."