The bodega cat might be a fixture of the city's corner stores — spawning radio shows, Instagram accounts, illustrations and angry Yelp screeds — but it doesn't have a monopoly on New York's neighborhood stores, or New Yorkers' hearts.
Felines reign over Big Apple businesses from bookstores to glass bending studios, as a new book illuminates in text and full-page photos.
"Shop Cats of New York," out on shelves Nov. 1, introduces readers to 40 cats that charm customers and employees at Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens establishments.
"Working cats" they're not.
"Most of the time, these cats are more likely to play with a mouse or watch it go by," said author Tamar Arslanian, whose blog "I Have Cat" chronicles her life as a cat owner and single 40-something.
Instead, these kitties serve as neighborhood mascots.
A cat's presence "creates a little mini-community center," said Arslania, whose local shop cat lives in Gramercy Park's Wine Heaven, "and it’s funny when you realize you’re not the only one who loves this cat."
Devotees show their affection in all kinds of way: they pop in to inquire about the feline's wellbeing, they bring gifts, and they even present them original artwork, in the case of Valentino, the cat at the Carroll Garden Realty Company office.
For customers who love animals, shop cats spark conversations and their presence speaks highly to a business' integrity, said Arslanian.
"For me personally, when I go to a store or business that has a cat ... suddenly I'm thinking [the owners] are loving people," she said.
Arslanian's book, with pictures by cat photographer Andrew Marttila, provides examples of rescues living comfortably in the kind of non-traditional homes that most shelters won't consider for adoptions.
"We really wanted to show cats that were truly loved and really a member of their community," she said. "These cats really have stories and the people behind them ... were very excited about sharing their stories."
DNAinfo shares five of those tales below:
This black-and-white feline with a luxurious coat makes her home at a vintage store in the Flatiron district. She's named after Valentino, the nearby deli where she lived in the basement and a Reminiscence manager found her.
Bud, Chenille Cleaners
Bud the calico sheds on the clothes at this Midtown business, but she also brings in new customers. One even offered to pay $2,500 for her, a manager told Arslanian.
Spooky, On the Move
Kids visit Spooky at his Park Slope home, a bike shop, in all seasons. The store's owner found this friendly, affectionate black cat at a Queens construction site when he was only a kitten.
Matilda, The Algonquin Hotel
The Algonquin Hotel — the chosen haunt in the 1920s for a group of celebrated writers, editors, actors and publicists known as the Algonquin Round Table — has kept a cat-in-residence since owner Frank Case invited a stray inside in the late 1930s. Today, a rescue ragdoll named Matilda rules the front desk.
Patti Gucci, Tents and Trails
Living in a camping goods store in the Financial District, this petite black mouser wears a collar more befitting an haute couture house. Her official title, according to the shop's website, is "customer therapist, assistant buyer and HR."