Lots to like about Zero | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Lots to like about Zero

A friendly yet complex cat, Zero may have once been in a prison gang.  Photo by Faceboy

A friendly yet complex cat, Zero may have once been in a prison gang. Photo by Faceboy

BY FACEBOY   |  In the mid-to-late 1970s Andy Warhol, some of his superstars and Margaret Hamilton were all customers at the Chemical bank branch at 17th St. and Park Ave. South. Your writer knows this because his mother was a teller there and tends not to lie about such things.

Hamilton’s portrayal of the Wicked Witch of the West helped cement her iconic status, but her type of witch would not be received well at Enchantments witchcrafts shop, where we met Zero.

Ammo O’Day, who has worked on and off at the East Village shop for 10 years, is quite familiar with Zero and the two black rescue cats that also reside at Enchantments. Zero was a stray rescued from a shelter in Arizona as a kitten and is now about 15 years old, O’Day said. The shop adopted him four years ago when his rescuer became a flight attendant and could no longer give him the love and attention he deserves. 

Named after the ghost dog in “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” this regal cat is quite charming and very friendly.

“He’s very sweet and cuddly,” O’Day said of his personality. “If you’re sitting anywhere for long periods of time he will sit on you. Especially if you’re wearing black because he knows he’s pure white and can cover you in fur. The other two are younger by five years and more rambunctious, but if Zero finds a lap he’ll definitely sit on it.”

One of his favorite people is Cleo, the UPS woman. 

“She comes in and her nickname for him is Fatboy,” O’Day said. “They spend some special loving time together and when she leaves he goes back to his business of whoever he was bothering at the time but it’s very cute.”

Referring to the HBO prison series, she also noted that Zero is likely homosexual.

“He and Eros have a very ‘Oz’-like personality,” she said. “We’re convinced that both of them are gay and that they have a love affair.”

Cats can be very territorial and the shop enforces a strict policy barring dogs from the place.

“We love dogs,” O’Day said. “We just don’t want anything to happen. It’s for the safety of the cats and the dogs. Some people who have tried have been not so nice about hearing they can’t stay.” 

If you’re a Bad Witch you can also take your business elsewhere. As explained on their Web site they do not engage in any type of black magic.

Though acquitted, Ralph and Mary Hall were tried on witchcraft charges in New York State on Oct. 2, 1665. Back then, women could not own property, enter into contracts or earn a salary, and male homosexuals were subject to the death penalty. Today a husband and husband can visit this female-owned witchcraft shop and pet their gay cats with complete impunity.

Enchantments, at 424 E. Ninth St., is open daily from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. except Tuesdays. For more information, visit www.enchantmentsinnyc.com .

Cats communicate and humans interpret their meaning. When Zero was asked what he would say if someone did bring in a small Toto type of pooch, he squinted his eyes and said, “I’ll get you, my pretty — and your little dog, too!”