Cat’s eviction from Vancouver supermarket sparks petitions

“Essentially we have him on business. He had a job and he has grown into much more.”

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

Unfortunately for him, the rules around cats in supermarkets are also black and white.

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

However, the staff and their neighbors want Mickey to stay in the shop, where he takes on a variety of roles, from pest control to mascot to therapy cat.

“I try not to look at people when they interact with him because some of the interactions are so deep and people really like him,” MacDonald tells me. Vancouver is amazing.

“He makes people feel special.”

kitty history

Mickey arrived at Top Ten a few years ago after a friend-of-a-friend discovered they couldn’t offer him a good home.

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

He was a bit of a nerd at first, but the store had plenty of corners to hide in, and he felt more at ease around people. He also took on mouser’s job; when Top Ten faced a rodent problem a few years ago, Mickey took it upon himself.

MacDonald says Mickey may have saved the company by dealing with the plague and deterring rodents to this day.

“We basically have him on business,” he says. “He had a job and he has grown into much more.”

The role Mickey plays is important to the company, MacDonald adds, and “everything else… was just a blessing.”

The rules

No order was given, but VCH did pay an educational visit.

“Operating food enclosures in BC is a regulated activity under the Public Health Act and an operator cannot allow live animals on the property. There are exceptions for service dogs and live fish in an aquarium,” a VCH spokesperson said. THROUGH.

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

Community response

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

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

MacDonald says he’s been busy managing the store and hasn’t had time to run a campaign to support the cat. But the council has taken over. There is an online petition, social media posts and a physical in-store petition.

Is MacDonald surprised by the reaction?

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

“There are no other stores here. We play a rather important role,” he adds. “[We have] a responsibility to the neighborhood and he’s actually part of that.”

So far, about 3,000 people have signed the online petition. If discussions with VCH continue, MacDonald says he will ask how to proceed.

However, he fears that while other store animals fly under the radar, Mickey’s newfound fame could be to his detriment.

“I’d like Mickey to stay here, but I’m afraid. I have a feeling this publicity means he can’t stay here.”

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