Western Massachusetts could eventually be home to an increasingly popular trend of city living: A cat cafe may arrive around summer 2019, according to the Valley Advocate. Cat.fe already has a presence on social media, and its founders have big plans for the space to serve as both a gathering spot and a means for adopting out shelter cats.
The cafe is the work of Sam Williams and Keanu Patwari, who are hoping to partner with a local shelter for the business.
“All of these formerly homeless cats will be relocated from a shelter with the hopes of being adopted out by a loving owner who can get to know them through play and true bonding experiences at Cat.fe before they are adopted by their human into a new home,” the pair wrote in a post on the Cat.fe Facebook page.
The duo is currently working to save money to launch the business, with hopes of securing a location in the downtown area of Northampton, Patwari told the Valley Advocate. To accommodate state regulations that prohibit food preparation in the presence of animals, the storefront will have a cafe space independent from the area where people can interact with the cats. A menu will consist of items like tea, pastries, and more.
Cat.fe may be the first potential cat cafe in the Pioneer Valley, but it’s not the first of its kind to use this particular cat-related spin on the word “cafe.” Michigan has a Catfé, which partners with a local shelter, while Kitty Catfe in Seattle also offers opportunities for people to interact with and adopt cats. Vancouver also has a version, also called Catfe, which sells “meowchandise” and has adopted out more than 400 cats since opening in 2015.
Locally, Purr Cat Cafe operates out of Brighton. Though the business had a tumultuous road to opening thanks to some social media drama between the owner and would-be customers and former staff, things are looking up as it’s been quietly operating since late 2017, allowing people to bring in food from nearby restaurants to eat while playing with cats.
In North America, there are over 100 cat cafes, from a boozy cat lounge in Portland, Oregon, to a “cat automat” in Florida (where the food, not the cats, is in vending machines). Dive too deeply into the cat cafe world, and you’ll see enough purr, meow, kitten, and Great Catsby puns to last a lifetime.
Stay tuned for updates on Northampton’s forthcoming Cat.fe.