This past weekend I visited heaven on Earth.
No, I'm not talking about Disney World or the Bellagio in Vegas - I'm talking this nation's first permanent cat café.
Oh yes, you heard me right - CAT. CAFÉ. It's a revolutionary idea and it's changed my life [disclaimer: I tend to elaborate when excited - you've been warned].
Back in April of 2014, a pop-up opened in NYC that made headlines.
During the four days the Purina cat café was open, lines were out the door. Locals came to sip coffee, munch on scones and pet and play with kitties. Many adopted their chosen feline friends and took them home. It was a really beautiful model that encouraged play and interaction between shelter kitties and those with an affinity to the lovable furballs.
Fast-forward to fall of 2014, when the first permanent cat café, Cat Town Café, opened here in Oakland by the established feline nonprofit Cat Town and Adam Myatt [also known as The Cat Man of West Oakland and Mr. Hoodcats].
Since their opening, Cat Town has adopted 87 kitties to forever homes [though this was a week ago, so I'm sure the number is even higher now]. Cat Town focuses on older cats, 6 months and up, as well as black cats.
Their space includes two rooms - the café portion with bistro tables, drip coffee, macaroons and scones, and loads of hilarious cat memorabilia and the Cat Zone with cat toys, climbing and hiding structures that mimic some of Oakland's best architectural features, and a huge art mural. Guests are limited to 14 in the Cat Zone and are let in every hour, on the hour. Of course, you can bring your coffee and snacks into the zone while you play. Reservations are recommended and can be made online.
I made our reservations a week before we visited. After that, every morning when I got Vivi out of her crib, she asked if we were going to "cat city" or "cat home" or some other variation of the two. She practically leapt out of her crib the Sunday morning I finally answered "Yes!".
On the way there, I got the talk from Drew.
You know the one.
The one where I am told we are only there to visit the kitties, we have two cats already, we're not adopting today, yada yada yada. That Drew - always layin' down the ground rules.
Anyway, we visited, we played with the cats, we drank hot coffee and ate deliciously baked French macarons. It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning. Vivi had a blast waving the string toys in the air. Two cats in particular repeatedly followed her around the room.
I also used the opportunity to talk more with Vivi on the right way to introduce yourself to, pet, and play with a new cat [she's great with our two kitties, but they have watched her grow and are pretty used to erratic toddler behaviors].
All and all, it was a beautiful and fun time and it felt good knowing that we are giving some loving attention and interaction to cats that might otherwise be sitting in a cage.
If you are in the Bay Area, I highly recommend you check out Cat Town Café. And if you're outside of the Bay Area, maybe your neck of the woods needs one. Let's start a movement to get a many kitties as possible out of cages and into some forever homes!
[I'm not sure how the details would work, but how cool would it be to have doggie cafés as well...just sayin'].
This post appeared first on Everyday Enthusiastic. All ideas in this post are of my own opinions including mention of companies and/or affiliate sites. No sponsorships were involved in the creation of this post. Photographs taken by Meredith Wheeler and Drew Wheeler using a DSLR Canon Rebel T3 and edited using Photoshop CC.