It's become a well known fact that Hong Kong has a fascinating culture of "shop cats" – cats that eat, sleep and chase mice away in retail outlets across the city. Dutch photographer Marcel Heijnen recently captured the felines amongst their urban kingdoms.
Now we have the Shop Cats of New York – a charming photo series and new book that blend the introspective eye of Humans of New York with the aesthetic intelligence of The French Cat to portray the Big Apple from the perspective of their diverse and captivating rulers: felines. Combined with lively photography, this book gives voices to the creatures appreciated for their mystique, independence, and vibrancy.
Written by beloved cat blogger Tamar Arslanian and photographed by animal lover Andrew Marttila, the book includes two meat-eating cats who live in a vegan shoe shop; a wine store cat with his own chiropractor, because he has a bad back; a cat in a pharmacy named Allegra, an allergy medication, whose owner is highly allergic to cats; a cat who is a resident of, and mascot at a dog boutique and grooming business, and a bookstore cat who almost killed a live chicken during toddler story time.
Beyond the witty stories these cats offer, they are legends inside beloved New York institutions like the Algonquin Hotel, Bleecker Street Records, Kings County Distillery, and many more. From the amusing to the benevolent, this book uncovers these 40 cats’ distinct personalities and the shops they deem home.
If you want to get to grips with these intelligent, mysterious creatures, you can buy the book and read their stories for yourself.
All images courtesy of Andrew Marttila | Main image: Keetah – Bleecker Street Records