Looks like cat cafes - social hubs where humans can gather while adoptable, free-range kitties frolic - are becoming a thing here.
With entrepreneur Kristin Eissler looking at a January opening for Kawaii Cat Cafe at 759 S. Fourth St. in Queen Village, cat-rescue volunteer Kathy Jordan is preparing Le Cat Cafe, at 2713 W. Girard Ave., next to the new Crime & Punishment brewpub in Brewerytown.
Or is that Mew-erytown?
Jordan, a certified financial adviser in Center City and head of Green Street Rescue, cautions that Le Cat Cafe - set up under the rescue's 501(c)3 nonprofit umbrella - will not be a "cafe" in the food sense, as Kawaii will.
Rather, Le Cat Cafe will be offer a safe, neighborly setting whose only "food" aspect will be a Keurig coffee machine.
"It will be a user-friendly system for people looking to adopt a cat," Jordan said. Such cat cafes, she said, are "better than going to a shelter. A shelter is not a very good place to find a cat. You stick a cat in a cage and it's not going to be itself. A setting like this allows people to interact with the cat and see the personality. These adoptions 'stick' better when you have time to hang out with it."
Le Cat Cafe will have no more than 12 cats on premises at once, to keep the place from being considered a shelter or pet-supply store. A dozen is an appropriate cap, anyway, she said: "I also don’t want to be a crazy-cat-lady store." Litter boxes will be in the basement.
It will charge a modest entrance fee, which will go toward operations.
Jordan also plans to offer yoga classes, so that participants can stretch amid the cats, as well as purr-lates (yes, cat-assisted Pilates) and story times at which young children can read to cats.
Update: Jordan was granted a zoning variance on Nov. 18 and received the actual purrmit on Dec. 3. She said she expects to be open in January, "weather and contractors permitting." Follow along on Facebook.