The wellbeing of one particular demographic has been relatively overlooked during the coronavirus crisis. Cats residing in convenience stores, delis, and small community grocery stores have found themselves without homes as stores close due to lockdown orders. But an organization called Greenpoint Cats is trying to help newly homeless cats in Brooklyn.
Becky Wisdom, the organization’s founder, has looked after a Franklin Street cat colony since 2018 and has since extended her aid beyond the Greenpoint neighborhood. As the pandemic hit Brooklyn, however, Wisdom noticed that as bodegas and delis started shutting down, their shop cats were left behind, and many of whom were not being fed or cared for.
“Since mid/late March when stores began closing due to the Covid crisis,” reads a statement from the organization, “we’ve feared we might begin seeing abandoned shop cats and in the past week we’ve looked into a few different locations where we heard there might be cats that had been left behind. Additionally, we’ve found two distressed friendly cats in the neighborhood that we suspect are displaced shop cats. (One cat has already been adopted, the other is in our care and will be available for adoption soon.) We are encouraging both residents and store owners to help ensure the safety and well-being of shop cats during the crisis. If you notice a store has closed and you recall a cat was living there, place an inquiry with the owner or landlord….or with us! We can also help arrange for foster for cats that are either temporarily displaced or are not receiving sufficient care inside the store while it’s closed.”
This year alone, Greenpoint Cats has already spayed or neutered over 40 cats, though vet closures are making this process increasingly difficult. In addition to caring for Brooklyn’s outdoor cat population, and ensuring that abandoned store pets are being fed, the organization has also started rescuing cats from coronavirus patients’ homes.