At Brooklyn Cat Cafe, Love Conquers All–And Earns A $50,000 Grant

Money can’t buy you love, but love can get you money– $50,000 to be exact.

Andrew grew up afraid of animals, so the Brooklyn Cat Cafe was not exactly a dream date location for him. But when his girlfriend Colleen suggested that they visit, he reluctantly went along.

A petite dilute Tortoiseshell with a badly injured eye, Capricornia was rescued from the Bronx and took up residence at the Cafe on Montague St. And perhaps with the unerring instinct of a feline who can spot a cat-wary human, she jumped right into Andrew’s lap.

Skinny, scraggly, and sick, she had required no small amount of care, vet visits, and medication to regain her health. She commanded–and demanded–attention with her raspy, loud meow.

“In that half hour visit, something inside me changed forever,” recalled Andrew in a post on Petco Love’s Facebook page.

The man who had decreed to his girlfriend Colleen that their home must be pet-free now scoops litter and heats up Capricornia’s food for her, delighted to have added another family member. Then he made another big decision.

“I never expected it would be a cat who would make me look up and see it was time to make our new family permanent, but there I was with a diamond ring waiting to ask Colleen if she would give me and Capricornia our forever home.”

That story earned $50,000 for the Cafe from Petco Love as part of the foundation’s Petco Love Stories, an annual campaign that asks pet adopters to share how their new companions have changed their lives. Only 18 awards are given annually.

Our Petco Love Stories campaign is in its tenth year, and there is no end to the amazing, emotional stories of how pets change our lives,” said Petco Love President, Susanne Kogut. “These winning Love Stories capture the love we all feel for our pets. They celebrate the lifesaving act of pet adoption and the unconditional bond we share with our pets who enrich our lives in so many ways.”

Capricornia was one of over 1,200 cats rescued in 2022 by Brooklyn Cat Cafe, which since opening in 2016 has welcomed more 100,000 visitors. In 2021, the Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition, the organization that runs the Cafe, took in more cats than any organization in the city except Animal Care Centers, the city’s municipal shelter. The Cafe operates one of the largest in-home foster programs for cats in New York City, and in 2020, BBAWC launched a discounted veterinary clinic for cat rescuers at Brooklyn Cat Cafe, following in 2021 by the opening of a deeply discounted spay/neuter and surgery clinic for cat rescuers and low-income cat owners.

“We are so happy that after such a hard journey, Capricornia has helped create a loving family of her own,” said Julia Rosenfeld, Managing Director of Rescue at Brooklyn Cat Cafe. “There are too many cats like Capricornia on the streets of New York City and this grant from Petco Love will help us to save many more lives and provide needed services to other rescues trying to do the same.”

For more great stories and photos, visit or follow us on InstagramFacebook and Twitter. Or better yet– head over to 76 Montague St. and find a Capricornia of your very own.

Photos provided by Brooklyn Cat Café and used with permission

Photos provided by Brooklyn Cat Café and used with permission


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