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There is an underlying faction of workers subtly managing the day-to-day business of shops across New York City: cats. If you've shopped around locally owned stores in New York, chances are you've encountered one of these shop cats, watching over the store like a king or queen over their kingdom, or interacting with their fans (regular customers). In Shop Cats of New York, author Tamar Arslanian and photographer Andrew Marttila sought to capture the hard-working felines of popular New York spots like the Astoria Hotel, Bleecker Street Records, and Kings County Distillery, and their influence on employees and customers.

"These cats are responsible for creating unexpected relationships, and fostering a sense of community in neighborhoods across the boroughs of this vast city," Arslanian writes. "They provide an avenue for strangers to make connections and strike up conversations, while bringing warmth and humanity to a city that can be cold and lonely."

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From Patti Gucci, who's official title at Tents and Trails is "Customer therapist, assistant buyer, and HR," to Madea, the magical kitty of occult store Enchantments, Arslanian and Marttila truly capture the unique personalities of each shop cat.

Take a look at some of the beautiful photography capturing these cats below.

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Photo credit: Andrew Marttila

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