In most cities, keeping a cat on the premises of a convenience store is illegal and a health code violation. It’s also a proud tradition, particularly in New York City. So much so that when a woman posted a negative review complaining of a bodega cat, the internet’s retribution was swift and harsh. And, also, oddly, productive: A petition demanding “amnesty” for bodega cats has been circulating and even becoming popular. But the bodega cat isn’t just a cute pet. In fact, it’s part of a long-standing tradition that dates back centuries in human history.