There are two types of people in this world. People who love cats… and the rest of us. Count me among the rest of us, with the added bonus of an acute allergy to cats.
So when I heard that a cat café was opening on Atlantic Avenue, I was befuddled. People want to go and drink coffee with cats circling their feet? A kitten to go with your cappuccino? People who love cats are an interesting bunch, I thought. I’ll stick to Tazza for sit down, or Cranberry’s to go.
But I went to the Cat Café. I didn’t mean to go to the Cat Café. I was on my way to Chez Moi (for the happy hour $1 oysters – highly recommended!) and passed by this adorable, inviting storefront at 149 Atlantic Avenue.
Outside, there was a group of people clamoring to get inside, so I couldn’t resist peeking in to see what all the fuss was about. There was a lovely greeter at the door who asked guests to sign a waiver and pay a $5 donation for half an hour of cat browsing and petting. You see, the Cat Café is a front for the Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition. It’s not about the coffee at all, it’s about rescuing cats and finding them good homes.
Inside, there’s a couch, a coffee table, cute knick knacks, space in the back for events, and lots of cats. A group of four cats partying in a cage were named Sheila E, Dr. Fink, and Wendy & Lisa. (R.I.P. Prince.) Elsewhere, in a glass terrarium were a mother cat (Grizabella), and her three kittens (Rumple, Jelly, and Jem) romping around. (If you get the reference, first to comment wins a prize – a free subscription to BHB.)
There were cats lounging on ledges on the wall, and one spread out on the coffee table. There were cats everywhere. And there were the happiest, smiliest people I’ve ever seen crowded into a space in this cranky city. After lingering far longer than I had planned, my face was itchy and my eyes were stinging, but I couldn’t help but be thoroughly charmed and happy that there is a cat café in our neighborhood.
(Cat lover or not, if you find yourself in a bad mood, just watch this kitten livecam from the Cat Café. I’ll bet you’ll smile too.)