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The Boston Cat Cafe Dream Has Died (for Now)

Le Chat Noir is returning money earned in a fundraising campaign.

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A cat cafe pop-up event in New York.
A cat cafe pop-up event in New York.
Marguerite Preston/Eater NY

In 2013, a potential Boston cat cafe called Miaou appeared on the scene, courtesy of a "young entrepreneur" and "kitty lover," but the venture never came to pass. Its social media channels have been silent since September 2013, and its website has been deleted.

Then, in late 2014, a Brown graduate student named Amanda Davis also gave the cat cafe idea a shot, trying to raise $65,000 via IndieGoGo to create a cat cafe called Le Chat Noir, possibly somewhere in South Boston. She planned to house ten cats at a time, brought in from local shelters, and they would be available for adoption. The ambiance would be "posh Victorian tea room-meets-cat paradise," and there would be a kitty cam online for people to watch from afar.

By the end of the campaign, she had only raised about 4% of the goal, $2,853, and noted on social media that she would start a new campaign while she was in talks with the city of Boston to figure out if permitting would actually be possible.

Last week, Davis posted a disappointing update:

"Hello all, we never heard back from the City of Boston after our initial conversations so if you want a refund on your money or if you are interested in picking up from us, please contact me. Or we will donate the money to a cat-related charity! Thank you for your support!"

No other cat cafes are currently in the works for Boston proper. Out in Franklin, however, a cat cafe, Calico Nook, opened in March. It doesn't serve food or drinks (although guests can bring their own coffee, as long as it has a lid), but people can hang out for a while, work on their laptops, play with cats, and buy a variety of cat-themed products.

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