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Local feline lovers rally around ‘San Francisco Store Cats’ map

A tabby cat looks out the window from the CHYS Urban Wear store on Ocean Avenue on Monday, January 19, 2015. | Carlos Avila Gonzalez/Getty Images

We know that Al Gore invented it. We’re well aware that it is akin to a series of tubes. But the question bears repeating: What is internet, anyway? Put succinctly, and according to numerous dubious statistical analyses, it’s cats.

Though the 2013 claim made by pet food manufacturer Friskies that feline-related searches account for 15% of all internet traffic has been debunked, it remains conventional wisdom that cats rule the web. (According to The San Francisco Standard’s Fall 2022 Voter Poll, 13% of city denizens owns a cat.)

It follows that today’s tweet from Chris Arvin—a politically active transit advocate and graphic designer, whose mapmaking has earned them a loyal local Twitter following—would blow up.

Arvin’s latest map is titled “San Francisco Store Cats.”

“i have spent years building up this knowledge,” Arvin tweeted at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, introducing their latest custom map of “San Francisco Store Cats.”

Featuring the likes of Lilly of Michaelis Wine & Spirits at the corner of Fillmore and Union streets; Chucky of Flora Grubb on Jerrold Avenue near Third Street; and Tosca of Nabila’s Naturals near Hayes and Laguna streets, the study quickly made the rounds on San Francisco Twitter.

Thoughtfully, Arvin also included a legend denoting which cats were “particularly friendly.”

At the time this story was posted, the tweet had surpassed 5,000 likes and 700 retweets and had accumulated 150 replies—many of which included suggested additions to the project.

District Attorney candidate John Hamasaki, SF indie musician Chime School, KQED’s Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez and Sharky Laguana of the San Francisco Small Business Commission were among the more active local Twitterati to weigh in.

“i have gotten so many suggestions i’m gonna have to change the design of the map to fit them all!” Arvin exclaimed in a follow-up tweet containing an updated design.