Daisy: You won’t regret giving her an extra pet

BY FACEBOY  |  Villagers may remember the tale of “Operation Molly,” which was coordinated by Animal Care and Control of New York to rescue a cat that had been trapped for nearly two weeks inside a wall at Myers of Keswick — a traditional British grocery store for bangers, meat pies and other imported items — on Hudson St. in Greenwich Village.

How Molly survived is still a mystery, but the story received widespread attention, including an April 2006 article in The Villager by Albert Amateau. There’s little doubt about it, we New Yorkers love our shop cats! Unfortunately, the New York City health code prohibits animals in places where human food is sold.

Pictured above is Daisy. She resides in the Pet Bar, an independently owned shop at 132 Thompson St. A recent interview with the owner, Jimmy Elmemeh, illuminated many interesting facts about both Daisy and his store.

According to the vets at the shelter where Daisy, now 13, was adopted, she was about two years old when found abandoned in a bag left in a garage.

“She’s in great health and a wonderful cat,” Elmemeh said. “She’s actually the princess — the boss of the store. She is the boss!”

Asked how Daisy can refrain from playing with the myriad catnip toys surrounding her, he said, “I think she’s kind of like an old, wise lady. I mean, she’s very wise and she’s been around all of these toys forever. We have some nights where we come in and find some toys opened, ruined or completely destroyed by Daisy. She gets parties every once in a while, you know? But she’s a very good girl.”

Daisy is the princess at Soho’s Pet Bar.  Photo by Faceboy

Daisy is the princess at Soho’s Pet Bar. Photo by Faceboy

Having patronized the Pet Bar for many years, yours truly can attest to Daisy’s extremely friendly demeanor. Sometimes she’ll gently use her paw to guide my hand under her chin for an extra pet before I depart.

The Pet Bar first gained attention in 1991 when it started offering psychic pet readings as an annual Halloween tradition. This continued for 10 years but was dropped due to the profusion of copycats. The shop was also among the first to offer high-quality, gourmet pet foods and many other specialty items. Rising rents, competition from corporate giants and Internet sales have all contributed to a decline in Elmemeh’s and many independent retailers’ businesses.

There is a perception that online purchasing is a bargain hunters’ paradise. But Elmemeh has stated, “We guarantee our prices to be the lowest. If it’s not, we’ll match it.”

Getting back to Molly, readers may wonder what has become of her. Jenny Myers, Myers of Keswick’s current proprietor, assures that Molly is doing well.

“She’s still going strong,” Myers said. “She now resides in our home, but sometimes on trips to the vet, she’ll drop by the store.”

You can visit Daisy and get all of your pet’s food and toys weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Perhaps your hand too will be guided to that extra pet that no cat lover will ever regret.

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