Volume 79, Number 19 | Oct 14 - 20, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Villager photo by Lincoln Anderson

The cat on the hat

It’s not everywhere that you’ll see a cat on a hat on a man walking around on bustling streets. But that’s exactly what Charlie, 43, and Nicholas, 2, do on Broadway near Spring St. in Soho. “Every day — this is working for me,” said Charlie, as Nicholas calmly sat on his cap. “I make a decent living at it.” He charges people $1 to take their photo, though sometimes they give him $5 or even $20. “I try to get as much as I can,” he said. It goes toward cigarettes and “a couple of beers” — and “I feed him good,” he said of Nicholas. Charlie is easygoing, but it irks him when tourists try to use the “language barrier” to claim they don’t understand it’s not free to photograph the fearless feline. “They know English,” he said. Thinking he’s been doing the cat-on-the-hat thing “a little too long now,” Charlie said he hopes eventually to scrape together $500 to get a commercial driver’s license.

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