Unfortunately, Green Olives Deli & Grocery in Park Slope had been sadly missing Boka, the beloved bodega cat, since Friday, July 29. After a week-long saga, the pet was finally returned safe and sound to his Brooklyn home late last week.
According to the Brooklyn Paper, a middle man who was in touch with the original catnapper and convinced him to bring Boka back actually ended up returning the cat. A Reddit thread that claims to tell “the other side” the story said the person who originally took him was concerned for the cat’s safety, which the owners say has no merit.
“As soon as he was returned, I posted an Instagram and the store was full, a lot of people came,” Albahri told the newspaper. “They came from all over, they came just to see the cat.”
On July 29, bodega owner Abdulmajeed Albahri first noticed his gray feline friend had been absent from his post at the front of the store, Eater New York reported, but figured he’d soon return as the cat sometimes meanders around.
After no sight of Boka in the following days, Albahri decided to check his security cameras. To his surprise, the footage showed Boka being stolen by someone just outside the bodega on Friday at approximately 4:34 pm. He immediately filed a police report.
The video of the catnapper had accumulated more than 150,000 views after a TikTok circulated from viral cat whisperer Catluminati.
Since Albahri first got Boka back in January, the cat has racked up quite the following on Instagram under the account @kediboka. Deeply admired by locals, posters immediately popped up across the neighborhood as others shared Albahri’s posts to help bring Boka home. According to NBC, Albahari only asked that Boka is returned. “I have to tell him he has to return the cat, and if he really likes cats go and adopt one,” said Albahri.
Thankfully, Boka seems to be doing just fine, just catching up on some sleep after his “long adventure.”