Cat Cafe Coming Soon to Clintonville
Cats and coffee – not two things most people associate with each other. Unless you are a fan of the rising trend of cat cafes. Although it sounds strange, it is exactly what the name implies: a café with cats. Cat cafes house cats from local shelters and human societies in a home-like environment. The cats roam free in the cat lounge space, and patrons can enter to hang out with the cats on an hourly basis for a small cover fee.
The world’s first cat café opened in Taiwan in the late nineties, and the theme spread throughout Asia. Several European countries have also joined the trend, as well as Canada and Mexico in North America. The idea took a little longer to catch on in the United States, and the first cat café opened on the West Coast in 2014.
Working its way East, the trend will soon have a home in Clintonville with the Eat Purr Love Cat Café. Owner Chrissy Kuras has been working towards opening a cat café for the past year, ever since she first learned of their existence. She saw a need in the community – the closest cat café was in DC – and decided to fill it. She has thirty years’ experience working in a vet clinic, and twenty years’ experience volunteering with animal rescue programs and fostering animals.
Eat Purr Love Cat Café draws its name from one of Kuras’ favorite book, Eat Pray Love. Kuras loved the idea of the three “feel good” elements and wanted to incorporate that into her café. She is striving for a place where cats can eat, purr, and (receive) love.
Kuras has several plans for what will make her café not only successful, but also unique. One of them is their focus on adoption. Eat Purr Love will team up with the Capital Area Humane Society to find forever homes for their cats. Patrons will have the chance to get to know the cats and see how they interact in a home-like setting before deciding to adopt. This system gives the cats freedom outside of cages, and opens up more space at the humane society for them to help more cats. In 2015, the Capital Area Human society adopted out over 2,000 cats, and they are partnering with other rescue organizations through RescueNet to increase that number this year. Kuras hopes her cat café will assist in this mission.
Another thing Kuras plans to do is partner with local animal rescues in raising awareness of the welfare of cats and the need for adoption. She will open her space -free of charge- to local rescue groups for volunteer training, workshops, and fundraisers. She will also have a wall of local art for sale with the proceeds going to rescue groups. Another element Kuras wants to include is bringing in groups of people who would benefit from the therapeutic presence of cats, such as elderly or special needs.
The cafe itself will have two sections: the food café, and the cat lounge. The baked goods will be prepared off-site by Pattycake Bakery, and the coffee will also be locally brewed. Once food is purchased, patrons will have the option of taking their treats into the cat lounge area. Kuras explained the lounge will have lots of space for the cats, including lots of shelves and cubbies the cats can climb, as well as a “human-free” zone where they can go for a break.
Eat Purr Love Cat Café is planning to open its doors to the public later this summer, at 3041 Indianola Avenue, near Studio 35.
For more information, visit www.eatpurrlovecatcafe.com.
Photos by Randi Walle.