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Outside the pop-up Purina ONE Cat Café on Bowery, a muscular man named Jorge stands at the entrance. He faces a line of about 100 people that extends to Elizabeth Street. With his towering presence and official Purina T-shirt, it's easy to mistake Jorge as a hired doorman. But, he explains, "I'm not the bouncer. I'm the entertainment." It's certainly a more appropriate title for him. As he gives the crowd updates on wait times, it's clear he's already won their affection. "No one's waited more than four hours, so far," he says. And, even those who have waited the most find it impossible to be frustrated with Jorge.
The Cafe is here just for this weekend (it's illegal to go any longer than that according to NYC law), but it's enough time to have already secured adoptive homes for seven cats. If you're lucky enough to get inside, customers can speak to a cat expert and even sit down and enjoy a cat'achino, which comes with a cat-shaped foam topping. (But, if you relax for too long, you'd feel the psychic pressure of everyone in line giving you side-eye.)