Cat’s eviction from Vancouver grocery store sparks petitions

“We got him for business, basically. He had a job and he became so much more.”

Mickey is a black and white cat who lived at Top Ten Produce until recently.

Unfortunately for him, the rules regarding cats in grocery stores are also black and white.

After Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) received a complaint, the West Point Gray grocer had to say goodbye to the feline. Fortunately, Matthew MacDonald, the store manager, had room at his house.

However, the staff and their neighbors want Mickey to stay at the store, where he fills various roles, from pest control to mascot to therapy cat.

“I try not to stare at people when they interact with him because some interactions are so deep and people are really drawn to him,” MacDonald said. Vancouver is awesome.

“He makes people feel special.”

cat story

Mickey made it to the Top Ten a few years ago, after a friend of a friend found out they couldn’t provide him with a good home.

“We thought we had a better place for him, a better environment,” MacDonald says.

At first he was a little scary, but the store had plenty of nooks for him to hide in and he got comfortable around people. He also took the position of mouser; When Top Ten faced a rodent problem a few years ago, Mickey took care of it.

MacDonald says Mickey might have saved the business by dealing with the infestation and continues to scare away the rodents to this day.

“We got it for business, basically,” he says. “He had a job and he became so much more.”

Mickey’s role is important to the company, adds MacDonald, and “everything else…was just blessings.”

The rules

No orders were given, but VCH made an educational visit.

“The operation of food premises in British Columbia is a regulated activity under the Public Health Act and an operator must not allow live animals on the premises. There are exceptions for food dogs. assistance and live fish in an aquarium,” a VCH spokesperson said. GOING THROUGH.

They note that “the use of live animals is also not a recognized component of an integrated pest management program for pest control in food premises.”

Community response

MacDonald hopes change can be made and that there is support in the community.

“People can’t find a reason not to have [Mickey] is pretty much the meaning of it,” he says.

MacDonald says he’s been busy running the shop and hasn’t had time to start a campaign to support the cat. But the town got it. There is an online petition, social media posts and a physical petition at the store.

Is MacDonald surprised by the answer?

“Not really, just because I see how much people love it and how much they love our store. They want us to be here,” he says, noting that without Mickey, the store might not exist. be not.

“There are no other stores here. We play a fairly important role,” he adds. “[We have] a responsibility to the neighborhood and he is part of it.”

So far, around 3,000 people have signed the online petition. When discussions with VCH continue, MacDonald says he will ask how to move forward.

However, he worries that Mickey’s newfound fame will be to his detriment as other pets in the shop go unnoticed.

“I would like Mickey to stay here, but I’m scared. I feel like this publicity means he can’t stay here.”