Cats and coffee.
That’s the winning combo behind cat cafés (maybe you’ve heard about this brilliant idea?) and Seattle is about to get two of them! I’m so excited…
On Valentine’s Day, one of the cat cafés that has plans to open here had a ‘Pop-Up’ Café event down at Flutter Studios in Pioneer Square, and I was invited to come and take photos (*scroll down for lots of photos), so of course I’m going to tell you all about it. When I was in London at Christmas I had plans to go and visit Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, London’s first cat café (but more tea there than coffee, and quite rightly so), BUT with it being the holiday season, I just couldn’t get a spot. So sad! This event was a chance for Seattle Meowtropolitan Café to do a weekend test-run and I’d say it was a success; there was definitely no shortage of people who love both a cup of local coffee as well as hanging with cool cats. Because you have to limit the amount of people that are in the space at one time, so as not to overwhelm the kitties, people had to buy $10 tickets ahead with assigned times, and they were SOLD OUT for both days that weekend. Now I know just how many cat lovers there are in Seattle; so many that there wasn’t even space for any walk-ins!! That makes me happy there’s so much kitty love swirling around…
Aside from having a coffee, the real reason to come to a cat café anywhere in the world that you may be, is CATS. Two rescues brought cats to the studio, MEOW Cat Rescue of Kirkland, and the Seattle Animal Shelter, but the kitties from MEOW mostly had the run of the place, save for upstairs where the coffee and cookies were. I’m sure the rescue was very selective about the kitties they chose to bring, to make sure they got on well together and were great around people. Along with tables and chairs set up for people, there were cat trees, cat toys to get the kitties playing, and Jennifer from The Cat Ball brought along one of her amazing, yes, you guessed it, cat balls (you can see it in a few of the photos; I so want one for my cat photography!). And although the cats couldn’t be taken home with anyone on the day, people could fill out applications for the cats that were there; I know Seattle Meowtropolitan really wants the future permanent cat café to be a haven for rescue cats and a means for helping some to get adopted.
Mud Bay was also there with a table set up so you could make catnip toys for the kitties that MEOW had brought along (or others back at the rescue), or for cats at home, and I almost didn’t mention the coffee! That was provided by Seattle’s own Herkimer Coffee, and some yummy cat-shaped cookies were made by volunteers (a couple of those came home with me for my boy). I do believe that Hermiker Coffee has been chosen as the future permanent coffee roaster for Meowtropolitan.
Since I was lucky enough to spend the whole morning there, I got to spend lots of time snapping photos and getting acquainted with the cats. I think a few cats didn’t spend the whole time out (and different ones came for ‘the second shift’) but the ones that hung out to mingle were:
Suzie Q, a tabby girl, who seemed to like cuddles and investigating; a pair of kitten sisters called Holly and Ivy, that I think literally jumped around for a solid couple of hours playing with feather toys; Larson, a handsome Siamese boy, who was guarding his cat tree hideout until someone coaxed him out to play; and a medium hair tuxedo called Archie, who was happily lazing high in a cat tree for just about the whole time I was there. He was not at all bothered by all the humans…
I wish I could have stayed even longer and perhaps had a sit down with some coffee and a cat, but I left during the lunch break (both cats and volunteers needed some down time), which was actually when a news team visited to get some footage for a local news story on the event. *I wish they had come sooner because they brought a nice light with their camera (it had been quite dark in there before then, and I couldn’t use a flash, so it was a bit of a challenge getting noise-less images)! I expect that in the permanent space there will be some lovely windows through which the cats can watch the world outside go by; we all know how much cats love sitting by a window, watching birds and who knows what else… I also imagine books and newspapers, since cats love to lie on those when you’re reading them. Oh, and I’d also love to see some of my cat photography on the walls…naturally!
Judging from the success of cat cafés elsewhere (Portland already has one) and by this event alone, this combo of cats and coffee (or tea) will be a hit, and I actually do think there’s room for two such venues in Seattle. The city is known for loving its dogs but now cats might get some coffee shops to call their own. Once these cafés can get through the red tape of combining animals + food/drink (although I’ve probably eaten my fair share of cat hair in my own food, having had cats all my life…), it will be great to see where this all goes.
It really would have been interesting to hear from people who came, whether they have cats at home and are just major cat-lovers, and if they don’t have cats, maybe a cat café would be a cool place to come and hang out with kitties for a while. I’d love to hear what prompted people to come; I would imagine if I couldn’t have cats at home (like if a roommate or partner was allergic to them, or landlords didn’t allow pets), I’d just jump at the chance to hang out with my laptop and a mug of coffee for simply hours. What about you? Would you go to a cat café?
I hope this was as successful an event as it seemed to be and these cafés are indeed brought to life here in Seattle, for both cats and cat-lovers all over the city.
And I’d love to hear from you, either here or over on my Facebook page; come hang with me over there too!!
*Note: Seattle Meowtropolitan Café raised money through a crowdfunding campaign to get their venture off the ground and this was all made possible by donations made through Indiegogo. It’s great to see crowdfunding bringing great projects and dreams to life!