Six years ago New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene banned cats from a famous pub, McSorley’s Old Ale House, and guess what? The pub got shut down very recently because there were signs of rat activity in the basement.
McSorley’s dates back to 1854. It is one East Village’s ancient, famous eating and drinking establishments.
On November 10th it was closed with a sticker outside from the NY Dept of Health.
Way back (in the good ‘ole days!) there were kitties lounging around the establishment. You can just image it, can’t you? A great place with life and soul. The proprietor had to remove them (no idea where to) under orders from the DOH. The mentality behind that kind of order is that cats spread disease but, in truth, this is a nonsense. If domestic cats spread disease why are there 93 million of them in America sharing homes with their adoring human guardians?
The rat activity in Mc Sorley’s basement, which would have been prevented, I’d say, by the presence of the bar’s cats, is thought to have come from building activity in nearby Cooper Square. It seems that the building activity disturbed the rats and they migrated to the basement as the door was open a few weeks ago. That’s what they think.
Anyway, the crux of the matter is this: we know that the presence of cats in bars and office environments is a good way to minimise rodent activity. The cats might not eliminate them but we know for sure that there will be less rats and mice when cats are about. They are working cats and we love them.
I’d say that the DOH made a mistake in banning these cats. One aspect of this DOH order puzzles me. Bodega cats are still found in may corner stores in NYC as far as I am aware. Are these cats exempt? Or does the order cover a section of NY? I have no idea. The authorities need to be more open minded about working cats in businesses. Damn it, there are three domestic cats in major UK government departs in the centre of London with the sole purpose of keeping down rodents.