With a heavy heart, we regret to inform you of some very sad news: Minnie the Second, the latest in a long line of cats that have lived at McSorley's Old Ale House going back to 1854, has been banned from the East Village institution! The DOH has been coming down hard on McSorley's, making them clean up the bar's famous wishbones, as well as barring the adorable Minnie. EV Grieve spoke with the cat via her Facebook account, and she delicately explained the situation: "I explained that [owner] Mr. Maher has said I'm not allowed into the bar during drinking hours...officially. Since the only heat I want coming down is from the stove, that's the fact as it must be reported and as we must maintain."

According to the Times, a city health inspector gave McSorley's a grade of A at their recent health inspection, but "strongly, strongly, encouraged" the removal, or cleaning, of the wishbones above the chandelier ("to avoid the dust from falling into the drinks of their bar patrons”). The proprietor of the bar, Matthew Maher, explained that the bones were "hung by doughboys as wishful symbols of a safe return from the Great War. The bones left dangling came to represent those who never came back." So last weekend, Maher reluctantly took the bones down, removed the dust, and put them back up, noting, "It’s something you didn’t want to touch. It’s the last thing I wanted to touch or see touched.”

Minnie gained some infamy last year when she was the cause of a lawsuit by a NJ woman who claimed she was attacked by her at the bar. Or as she put it on her Facebook, "I'm an adorable cat who's the target of a frivolous pawsuit." In an "interview" with EV Grieve in December, she talked about her love for the bar, but noted that the DOH had been breathing down its neck: "There is really no worst part about McSorley's, unless you count Bloomberg's thugs stomping around and picking on us. 'Why, yes, there is dust and the occasional fly, Mr. Health Inspector! Shocking in a 150-year old bar. Do you go to the Pyramids and complain about the dust?'" However, her favorite Facebook quote leaves us with some hope for the future: "'There have always been cats at McSorley's, and there always will.' -Mattie Maher, current owner."