Cat In an Empty Philadelphia Storefront: A Marvellous Mystery
For the last few weeks, I've been using my cool new phone camera to take pictures of my many "working" feline friends. All but two of them are employed by Brooklyn businesses (the two non-Brooklynite felines were encountered during a recent visit to Philadelphia: see first Philly Cat above). 'Though I'm sure I'll take more Working Cat pictures in the future, I have enough good ones, now, to give y'all an idea of how many businesses employ fabulous felines (always, of course, in supervisory positions).
The first Working Cat I must introduce is "Little Gray," who is my oldest feline friend in Bay Ridge(long-time readers of this blog might remember my posts about her). I met her about two years ago (when she still looked gray; her fur has darkened in adulthood) when she was hanging around the grounds of a Lutheran church near the Home. On a couple of occasions, I bought cans of cat food to open for Little Gray. She always stuck around for pets, nuzzles and purrs. I wished, so much, that I could take her home, but it would not have been fair to Alice and Trixie. Eventually (after not seeing Little Gray for a few days) I discovered that she had been hired by that perfect feline employer: a fish store! Since that time, I have continued to see her 'round the 'hood and she always greets me with effusive purrs and requests for affection (which, of course, she receives). A few months ago, the fish store closed and Little Gray got hired by a furniture store on the same block. The pictures below were taken about a week and a half ago, in front of the furniture store.
Little Gray sniffing my backpack
Close-up of Little Gray
Little Gray Steps OVER the Crack
Another one of my feline friends from the 'hood is the manager of a butcher shop on Brooklyn's 5th Avenue. He doesn't go outside (safer for him; I approve!) so I had to go inside the store. I actually didn't know his name (Big Moe) until I asked permission from the guy behind the counter, to "photograph your store cat for something I'm writing." The guy then summoned him out from under a table, with "Come on, Big Moe. This lady wants to take your picture." I only got one decent shot of Big Moe because, despite the bulk that makes his name quite apt, he is an active kitty and I couldn't get him to stay still for very long. Here he is!
The next working cat I'd like to introduce is my newest buddy, who does not, as far as I know, have a name. He is a young dude (appears to be less than six months old) who is now in charge of the Chinese restaurant where I often buy lunch on days when the weather is too inclement for eating outdoors (also on Brooklyn's 5th Avenue). This one IS allowed to go outside ('though he also has the run of the restaurant) and I worry for his safety. Cats know a Cat Person when they see one, and Chinese Restaurant Cat came up to me, immediately, to rub against my legs and ask for petting. In the process of lavishing my affection oh him, I also gave him a surreptitious blessing and told him, "Please be careful!"
Chinese Restaurant Cat Close-up
Chinese Restaurant Cat on a Break
Chinese Restaurant Cat On Patrol
The final set of Brooklyn working cats I'd like you to meet are a family: Mom Cat and three kittens, who take care of a deli across the street from the Home. Sadly, Mom Cat (whose name was Bibi) got out of the store, ran into the street and was hit by a car earlier today. It's incidents like that which make me worry, so much, about many working cats. Big Moe is one of the rare ones whose humans look out for his safety by keeping him indoors. Fortunately (these pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago) Bibi's kittens are big enough, now, to survive without her, and the deli owners have promised to seek good homes for them. May it be so and may it be soon.
Sweet Bibi the Mom Cat: R.I.P!
Bibi's Kitten, Inspecting the Beer Cans
Another of Bibi's Kittens, Staring Me Down!
The last Brooklyn Store Cat is not one I've gotten to know "up close and personal" but I've admired her in the window of an 86th Street pet supply store (talk about an awesome gig for a kitty!)
Pet Supply Store Kitty: YUM. PURR...
The first Philly cat (whose picture is at the top of the page) was in a storefront that did not yet seem to be occupied. I have no idea what sort of business is going to be there but I have no doubt that it will be successful: there is already a cat in charge!
The cat I'm about to show you was one Lady Lucia and I met in a Philadelphia book store. I asked the clerk's permission to photograph her, and she said yes in a bored voice, as if this was the sort of thing people requested all the time. I wasn't surprised. What a glorious, Calico beauty! And she has her very own chair.
This little one seemed disgruntled that I disturbed her nap by taking her picture. She actually got up and walked out of the room afterward. But then she came back, mewed and demanded affection from me and Lady Lucia. Then she led us all around her store, trying to sell us stuff. I bought two books from her.
Philly Book Store Cat: Books Behind Her Chair
My next post will be about (and illustrated with photos of) Alice and Trixie, the Siamese-if-you-please who run our lives for us with great love and efficiency.
This post is dedicated to the memory of Mom Cat, Bibi, with prayers for the health and safety of all Working Cats!
Blessings and well-wishes for all of youse and the cats in your lives.