Boka, the bodega kitten stolen outside its Park Slope home last week, has been safely returned to its owner.
A person in contact with the cat-napper brought the eight-month-old feline back to its home at the Green Olives Deli & Grill on Seventh Avenue Friday, according to the store’s owner, who said he and locals were overjoyed to have their grey furry friend again.
“As soon as he was returned, I posted an Instagram and the store was full, a lot of people came,” said Abdulmajeed Albahri. “They came from all over, they came just to see the cat.”
The young cat was in good health but sleepy after being away from his home for a week, said Albahri, adding that the little guy was just happy to be back in familiar surroundings.
“Now he sleeps a lot, because he was on a long adventure,” the business owner said.
“Since he was two weeks old he’s been in the store,” he added. “This is his place.”
On July 29, Boka was swiped from the sidewalk outside the store at the corner of Eighth Street by a man wearing a white T-shirt, bright pants, and a light blue baseball cap, surveillance video showed.
The cameras caught the purr-loiner eyeing Boka from the corner before scooping him up without breaking a stride.
The video spread quickly on social media with one TikTok account’s post racking up nearly 200,000 views.
@Danesh can you help?
A few days ago, a person reached out to the store saying he knew the mystery man and would try to convince him to give Boka back.
“We said it’s OK, we just want the cat back,” Albahri said.
The middle man eventually managed to set up a handover with the guy at an undisclosed location, and he then delivered the pet back to Albahri on the evening of Aug. 5.
The store owner was mostly concerned about getting his four-legged pal back rather than catching the cat snatcher, but said he has not forgiven him.
“He will never ever be in Park Slope again, because everyone in the area is so mad at what he did,” he said.
A user of the online forum Reddit wrote a lengthy post in the Brooklyn subreddit claiming to be the man in the video.
He said that he had been concerned for Boka’s safety because he returned him to the owners three times before when the young cat had wandered off.
The Reddit post said that while it was routine for bodega cats to roam outside their store doors, Boka’s wanderings seemed to be further afield and more dangerous for such a young cat.
“The existence of these animals seems in keeping with what is normal for a store cat; however, what was happening here felt quite out of bounds, necessitating action,” the person with the username cut34567 wrote.
Albahri denied that he and fellow staff weren’t taking good care of their furball, for which he even set up an Instagram page.
“He said we weren’t taking care of Boka, that’s why he took him, but that’s a lie,” Albahri said.
The Reddit user could not be reached for comment.