Cats are curious creatures and they often go missing, only to return later. So when a bodega cat from Brooklyn called Boka disappeared, owner Abdulmajeed Albahri believed he had simply wandered away. Then he checked his CCTV footage!
What he saw surprised him. A man wearing a blue baseball cap, white t-shirt and backpack appeared to be waiting outside his store, the Green Olives Deli & Grill at 309 Seventh Avenue, at Eighth Street.
As the gray cat wandered across the sidewalk, the man scooped the beloved pet in his left arm and walked off camera. Mr Albahri says it was an abduction.
The incident happened at 4.34pm on Friday, July 29 and police have been informed.
Since then, a hunt for the cat has gone viral after Mr Albahri, who adopted Boka from a friend in January, posted a video of the footage on TikTok. It's been viewed more than 149,000 times.
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Further posts have since been made on Facebook, Instagram and Reddit in a desperate attempt to find Boka.
An Instagram account dedicated to the cat has also been set up showing many videos of Boka's antics, as well as news footage of the incident by the New York eyewitness news channel abc7NY.
A photo posted by on
So far, no arrests have been made and investigations are continuing, with hopes high that Boka will turn up or be returned.
In the meantime, Mr Albahri remains without his bodega cat. And for those unaware, this term is a New York City phrase rather than a feline breed. Bodega cats are also known as deli, store or shop cats and they're basically kitties who have adopted a store as their home.
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David Crookes has been a journalist for more than 20 years and he has written for a host of magazines, newspapers, websites and books including World of Animals, BBC Earth, Dogs and Canines, Gadget and The Independent. Born in England, he lives in a household with two cats but he’s also keenly interested in the differences between the huge number of dog breeds — in fact, you can read many of his breed guides here on PetsRadar. With a lifelong passion for technology, too, he’s always on the lookout for useful devices that will allow people to spend more time with their pets.