Internet in Stitches After Thrift Store's Vintage Fur Hat Is Actually Alive

One thrifty shopper got a little more than she expected on a recent shopping trip when a beautiful vintage hat turned out to be a sleeping cat.

Sonya Minnis from Brooklyn, NY—who uses the TikTok handle thethriftymama—shared the video on Thursday of the hilarious moment she stumbled upon the rogue kitty at a thrift store in Brooklyn, New York.

The video has since had over 540,000 views and more than 140,000 likes.

The caption read: "I legit was about to pick it up," and in the video, Minnis explained the incident in a voice-over. She said: "Today I'm at the thrift store minding my business when I saw this vintage fur hat. Beautiful, it looked like it was from the '50s. I go to touch the hat, and the hat moved—I swear my heart jumped into my throat.

"I know we've got bodega cats out here in New York City but this is the first time I've ever seen a thrift store cat. And he had the nerve to be irritated because I accidentally woke him up."

Minnis told Newsweek: "When I saw the 'hat,' I thought I'd found a cool vintage piece. I didn't expect a cat to be in the store at all, so I truly didn't think twice about picking it up to try it on."

In a press release shared by the United States Census Bureau, NARTS (The Association of Resale Professionals) said that about 18 percent of Americans will shop at a thrift store during a given year.

Meanwhile, online consignment and thrift store ThredUp reported that the value of the secondhand retail market is projected to double in the next five years, reaching $77 billion by 2025.

"I've been thrifting my whole life," said Minnis: "My earliest childhood memories are being in thrift stores with my dad."

With thousands of comments, the TikTok video has delighted internet users. One commenter wrote: "Petition to have a cat run every single store of any kind," while another said: "This video made my day!"

Other users joked about the cat, with one saying: "Leave that employee alone," and another saying: "He was on a break and you were disrespectful. You know he only gets 22 hours of break napping a day."

Another TikToker shared a similar experience and said: "I saw a thrift store cat in Georgia recently! So funny!"

Cats in shops aren't unusual, particularly in New York City. The city has an estimated 13,000 bodegas and many of these establishments are known for their feline residents or bodega cats.

The pet cat's job is usually to hunt and kill any unwanted rodents in the area. They are a popular feature in many of the food stores and are loved by the internet, but public health departments typically prohibit bodega cats under food codes that ban live animals from establishments where consumable goods are sold.

Another commenter spoke in favor of feline additions to stores and said: "I'm allergic to cats but I am 10/10 on board for store cats in general," while another wrote: "More thrift store cats!"

"I love the viral response," Minnis said: "It was such a cute and innocent mistake. The Thrifty Cat is now a celebrity."

In January, another cat had to be reunited with his owners after he was stuck inside a chair donated to a thrift store.

Thrift store fur "hat"
A picture of the item the woman thought was a fur hat on her thrift store trip. The internet was left in stitches after the woman revealed what the item really was. thethriftymama/TikTok