Lifestyle
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Gets a Share of The Backlash From #CatsofBGC Controversy
Loyal patrons have sworn off the coffee chain.
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It’s been a pretty wild week, both for cat people and for people who should’ve known better than to mess with cat people. After news hit last Valentine’s Day that the friendly neighborhood felines of One Bonifacio High Street suddenly disappeared, rumors began to circulate that the adjacent hotel had hired a pest control company called Pestbusters to get rid of them. Naturally, people were livid.

The result was an outpouring of online vitriol (which, let’s face it, is an everyday occurence in the world today). There was even some infighting among cat people communities when the Cats of BGC Facebook page accepted the hotel’s explanation; to some, it was an overly pacifist approach that didn’t truly seek justice for the cats.

People have scrambled to search for the cats, demanding answers with pitchforks raised in the air. Someone even went and set up a Facebook page called Rats of BGC, with an event called "Hanapan ng Pusa sa Shangri-la," with the goal of pointing out that the hotel will rue their decision to get rid of the cats when the rats start pouring in.

It was a such a spectacular shitstorm that we even had some PR specialists take a look at what went wrong.

But #KittyGate—let’s call it that, before some other future controversy arrives at Kitty Duterte’s doorstep—is encroaching on another brand. The angry people of the Internet have discovered that The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is part of the Table Group, which also runs Pestbusters, the pest control company that “dealt with” the cats. The coffee chain has been implicated by association, and is now being disavowed by its patrons:

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Then, after screenshots of the Table Group’s website and CBTLHoldings.com.ph circulated on social media yesterday, it was mysteriously taken down for maintenance today.

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It is yet unclear if the website’s current downtime has anything to do with the rising tide of complaints and disavowals. But one thing is certain: Brands, beware of cat people.

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