Boka, a beloved bodega cat, was swiped from the sidewalk outside his Park Slope abode on July 29, his owner said, and now the feline’s fans are on the hunt for the jerk who took him.
Abdulmajeed Albahri, the owner of Green Olives Deli & Grill on Seventh Avenue, presumed his cat had wandered outside when he couldn’t find him in the store. But when he checked the cameras outside, he realized Boka hadn’t just gone exploring. The video, posted to social media, revealed a man standing on the corner outside the store, waiting for the little grey cat to emerge, then swooping in and grabbing him without breaking his stride.
“I’m so sad about it because the guy doesn’t look like someone that likes cats,” Albahri told Brooklyn Paper. “If he was a cat person, he wouldn’t steal someone else’s cat — he would just get his own.”
As a true cat lover, Albahri is worried about the whereabouts of his cat. The Instagram page he started for Boka chronicles the playful cat’s antics in the store — reaching for shelves, resting among snacks, and climbing into boxes and suitcases.
One video of Boka with his owner is captioned “my entire world.” On another video of the cat glancing up sweetly from 11 weeks ago, a fan commented “With those eyes, I’m sure Boka would be kidnapped.”
“That’s what I’m worried about,” replied the owner.
Albahri said is afraid the kidnapper has ill intentions.
Boka watches the rain from his bed at Green Olive Deli and Grocery in a video posted to his Instagram account on July 25. Boka’s fans are searching high and low for the cat, who was swiped from his home days later.@kediboka/Instagram
“I have bad feelings about it, but hopefully I get my cat back unharmed,” he said.
It’s not the first time a bodega cat was swiped in Brooklyn — back in 2017, a burglar stole a 2-month-old mouser from a Kensington convenience store.
In addition to filing a police report, Majeed reached out to the community, who have taken to the internet to post photos of Boka and his kidnapper, clad in a white T-shirt and light blue baseball cap all over local Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit pages. A TikTok video posted on Aug. 2 racked up 18,000 likes in just a few hours.
A spokesperson for the DCPI of the 78th Precinct says no arrests have been made yet and the investigation is still going strong. Although the cat has been missing for two days, there is still hope he will be found and returned safely to those who love him most.