Why Do Cats Live At Breweries And Bodegas?

When you hop on up to the bar at your favorite brewery, order an IPA, blond ale, or perhaps something sour, you might be expecting to watch the game, catch up with some friends, or simply plug into a podcast and sit in silence after a long day at work. Whatever it may be for you that night, odds are you're not expecting to see something that looks like a small shadow or ghost floating around the feet of your fellow customers.

At first, you think you need to get your vision checked, but after the third time catching something moving out of the corner of your eye, you know what you've seen. A cat, cool as a cucumber, and completely unconcerned with the patrons of the bar leaning down to give it little scratches behind the ears. Breweries and bodegas don't always have felines lurking about, but if you frequent enough of these spots, odds are you'll see a cat or two slinking through the shelves trying to find its next meal (via PetPlace).

Cats: the furriest employees

When it comes down to it, are cats allowed in these spaces? Probably not. According to Hyperallergic, New York's Public Health Department forbids bodega cats, and those who have them face a hefty fine for their trouble, but bodega owners don't mind the fee so long as the cats do their job. What is that job exactly? Well, cats and famously good mousers and a rodent infestation in a bodega is infinitely worse than a feline fine, so the bodegas pay up. It's a good thing to have a cat on the case when your products are on the line.

The same goes for breweries. Breweries rely on grains to make their drinks, but mice and rats love the stuff. The Takeout says that breweries around the world keep cats on hand to hunt down rodents threatening their goods. Cats also have a long history with distilleries and are widely beloved in places in Scotland and Ireland for the work they do to ensure the grains stay safe and pure (via Vinepair). So, don't be concerned if you see a cat wandering through the tanks or barrels in the back; odds are, that four-legged friend is on the clock.