Someone Put Together a Map of Store Cats in San Francisco

Unsurprisingly: It’s spectacular.

Out of all the nearly 900 accounts I follow on Twitter, there are few that swell my body with feel-good brain chemicals more than the one belonging to Chris Arvin. 

They’re an avid pro-transit and car-free-streets enthusiast. Their doodlings and stickers and maps and projects are a balm to any San Franciscans looking to feel closer to the city they call home. Chris, too, is a parent to a gorgeous feline with eyes the color of wholesome forest moss.

There’s, perhaps, no one better biped qualified or adept to build a map of store cats in San Francisco than them. Fortunately for us: That’s exactly what they recently did.

“I have spent years building up this knowledge,” Arvin writes in the first of a series of tweets launching their incredible work of pragmatic art.

The first edition of the map — and based on the quoted re-tweets and responses to it, there will be editions to come — showcases a dozen local felines that call SF stores their playgrounds. Take Boots, for example. Famous for his white-furred button nose and paws, he’s become a synonyms fixture at Protola’s Hey Neighbor Cafe. (He’s literally pictured on their website, donning a sideways crown like the true king he is.)

Other notable cats in the map include S&S Grocery’s FuFu, the pair of tabby cats — Meow Mow and Toasty — frequently seen napping at 25th and Irving streets, and Dogg, named for his canine-like demeanor, at George’s Market.

Chris being the maven of digital maps they are, they’ve already released an update to the initial map; the most recent iteration includes Amity Market’s Ruby, which is another white-furred, button-nosed bundle of joy.

Frankly, there are an almost unfathomable number of store cats in San Francisco, and we can’t expect *each and every one of them* to be included in the updated maps going forward. But we can, however, kindly and respectfully suggest them to Arvin — “if you have suggestions of cats I’ve missed, I’ll go visit and update the map!!”

Aside from a few images, the ones used in the maps were taken by Arvin themselves.

Now’s also a good time as any to remind y’all to adopt whenever possible. There are approximately 3.2 million cats in need of homes each year in the United States, according to the ASPCA, with only half of those later being placed in permanent homes. (Some 1.6 million cats are returned or abandoned within the first year of adoption; 920,000 dogs and cats are euthanized, annually.)

The Bay Area has dozens of accredited cat rescues, so consider pursuing their adoptable feline friends if you’re thinking about seriously expanding your family. 

Spay and neuter, y’all.

// Give Arvin a follow on The Bird App [at]chrisarvinsf; check out their election maps here and transit art shop at

1 Comment

  • Laura Bianchi Payne

    My brother’s late cat was such a regular at a Bay Area Ike’s that they put his picture on their tip jar. He would wonder over there daily and troll for pieces of meat from the patrons eating outside. He hated the Covid shutdowns, they really cut into his routine!

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