What are bodega cats
"Bodega cats are cats that are found in bodegas," says Dr. Sue. "They're not pets. They're not rescues. They're not strays. They're feral cats that were born and raised in the bodega, and they don't know anything else."
Why do they live in the store?
Bodega cats are likely reared in the store by the cats' mother, which is likely to be a stray or feral cat. Some bodega cats can be identified by the birthmark on their heads or their unique markings.
Why are they feral?
"Bodega cats are born and raised in the store," Dr. Sue explains. "They have never known another home, so they're not going to be friendly to people. But they have a mother living in the store, so they have everything they need to survive."
How many bodega cats are there?
"We don't have a way to know how many there are," Dr. Sue says. "But it's a lot. There are probably as many bodega cats as street cats. We think there's probably more bodega cats than street cats, but it's hard to know."
Why are they here?
As Dr. Sue told us, "Because they're feral, they're not friendly to people. So they're not going to be picked up by a rescue group or an animal shelter. So they're not going to be saved. They're not going to be rescued. But they need to be fed and taken care of."
Is the food free?
"The food isn't free," Dr. Sue says. "The people who bring it to us are volunteers. They are not paid to do this. They do it because they care about the cats. They're not being paid. They're not getting anything out of this other than the satisfaction that they're helping the cats."
Why don't they get rescued?
"They were born in a bodega," Dr. Sue says. "That's where they live. That's where they've lived all their lives."
How are they fed?
"The volunteers go out and feed the cats," Dr. Sue explains. "They go out and they buy cat food, and they bring it back to us. It's a very low-cost food. It's not enough to keep them alive, but it's enough to keep them alive long enough to be rescued."
What happens to the cats once they're rescued?
"The cats are taken to a veterinary hospital. We have a vet that helps us out at our shelter, and he treats them for free. He will not charge them a penny for the care that he gives them. He does it out of the goodness of his heart.
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