Judge Cavallo

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PETITIONER brought a summary holdover possession against respondent, who had been a tenant in the rent-controlled apartment for 43 years, claiming that she was harboring two cats in violation of her lease. Although respondent’s 1964 lease prohibited animals, she argued that petitioner waived its right to proceed under “pet law” because she had openly and notoriously housed her cats for eight years. The court found the two cats, who “were shy around strangers and had a tendency to run away and hide when strangers entered the apartment” did not allow themselves to be “open and notorious.” However, it opined that pet law focused on the “conduct of the animal owner and not on the nature of the animal.” It determined the cat’s presence in the apartment, and the visibility of their litter box and food bowls- seen by the superintendent and workers who entered the apartment- were sufficient to meet the “open and notorious” defense.