We finally got a cat cafe!!! We’re the coolest!! First one in Ohio!
Now I can stop jealously reading about them in other cities and finally go to one.
It took almost a year for owner Chrissy Kuras and friends to get everything in order, but as of September Eat, Purr, Love is now up and running, “Connecting Homeless Cats With Happy People”! Knowing that I would eventually want to check it out, I donated to their Kickstarter campaign. My “purrks” were a free hour with kitties, a beverage and treat, a spot on the mural wall, and a sweet t-shirt. However higher levels of donations also received invites to future events like yoga with cats, and a subscription to the 24-hour kitty webcam!
My first visit to cash in my purrks was on a dreary day that we had off from school. I definitely needed some perking up because, ironically, I was not feeling great due to a cat bite. (Babysitting other people’s cats can be challenging!) The cafe is in the funky neighborhood of Clintonville, Ohio. Its block has everything from a small antique store to a barbershop, tattoo parlor, the best movie theater ever, and a record store that houses its own shop cat.
Eat, Purr, Love is a simple store front with two big windows to let in plenty of natural light and an enticing view of cat paradise.
The lobby entrance has lots of cat products from local shelters and businesses; I bought a catnip toy so my fur kids would forgive me for cheating on them. There is some seating in the lobby where one can enjoy coffee and a snack or choose to head in through the “airlock” double-doored entrance to the larger portion where the cats are hanging out.
Maybe I’m too easily impressed by people who seem to know how to stylishly, effortlessly decorate a room, but the cat portion was magazine ready and I would happily live there. The cat portion featured two levels, all with clean, shining wood floors. The upper portion had squishy human seating set up in a conversation area, books and games; while the bigger lower portion featured work tables, cat-themed local artwork for sale, and cat toys and contraptions EVERYWHERE. These cats have options! If I had thought this through, I would have brought my grading with me and camped out. Since my first visit, they have added an additional wall of shelving using birch branches and a ceiling-high bridge across the room to a window nook which looks out on the lobby.
As promised during their Kickstarter campaign, Eat, Purr, Love Cat Cafe is scheduling evening events like “Yogato,” yoga with cats; “Purrs and Palettes,” painting session with cats; and “Drums, Strums, and Catums,” live music with cats. Practically anything sounds better to me when you add “with cats” to it.
So when yoga with cats popped up first thing on my Facebook feed, I reserved a spot immediately because their first session had filled up quickly.
The idea that this was my evening event, kept me going all day! However I kept checking to make sure that it wasn’t cancelled because the reservations were not filling up as I had anticipated. With furniture moved aside, the cafe could easily accommodate the 16 yoga spots available. Sadly, there was only 4 of us plus the instructor who was named…wait for it….Kitty. I believe they have had more success with recent Yogato sessions that were more heavily promoted. (I should have gone to one this evening to do further “research” for this post.)
Regardless of the number of students, my session was still a good hour and a half of yoga plus cats! As soon as I put my mat down, a crazy calico started attacking the flowers printed on it. We were encouraged to interact with the cats and grab some toys before starting the workout. There may have been some catnip stimulation all around.
I unwittingly provided group entertainment when we started our first round of sun salutations. I had my hoodie on because it was chilly; and while I will wear a skimpy tank top during a workout, I do cover up from car to studio because there’s just a lot of cleavage and tattoos happening. It did not occur to me that the hoodie strings would be better than catnip until resident cut-up Milo started attacking them as I tried to go into forward fold.
At one point, I scooped Milo up to Mountain pose and Heart Center. He was into it. This guy tugged at my hoodie and my heart strings. He was the cat trying to find a snuggle partner amongst the other cats during my first visit. Super sweet, chill personality, bunny-soft fur, and a floofy tail with rings around it. Fortunately for him, Milo was already adopted by Chris who opened the cafe. Foster cafe fail?
Milo continued to help me with my poses for a while. Downward facing dog works with cats, but you can’t take your plank all the way to the floor when a furry someone is camped out under you. I’ll just count it as a more intense workout since I had to hover until the next pose.
Having just done a session of heated power yoga WITHOUT cats, I can say with great assurance that it would have been vastly improved with cats…although it was really sweaty and the cat hair would have stuck all over, I suppose.
Cat hair aside, (there really is no escaping it) anyone who has ever read my blog knows, I have four cats at home to pet, cuddle, and do living room yoga with day or night; they are expert yogis. I have tons of natural light, artwork, and squishy human seating areas as well. I got in to the cafe for “free” the first time, but why pay $10 an hour to go back when I can sit around petting cats for free? Or to even visit for the first time?
Reasons why you should visit a cat cafe if you can:
*I hate grading and will even clean toilets to procrastinate. My house has a myriad of distractions. Sometimes the white noise of coffee shop is what I need to focus. Plus coffee shops won’t let me clean. Eat, Purr, Love provides such an environment plus …cats.
*Coffee and pastries.
*If you sit long enough, working on something, a cat will eventually come cuddle on you. That’s just how it is.
*I would think nothing of spending way more than $10 on food or supplies to donate to a shelter. The $10 for the hour goes towards the care and maintenance of the cats and cafe. Same, same.
*If I had a first date here, he would get so much…pussycat love.
*”Yogato” (yoga with cats) events. A superb experience.
*I love visiting my shelter for free to “pet strange heads” and will continue to do so, but there are an overwhelming number of cats there, many of whom are stressed out, and it smells like they all peed at once plus bleach. I’m used to that smell, but the cafe did NOT smell like cats, and they only keep 9 maybe 10 cats in residence at a time. This was a much more relaxed environment, and would be very good for someone to fall in love with a particular kitty.
*At the time I visited, they had successfully adopted out 20 cats with two adoptions pending. Pretty good odds for a place that just opened in September. The cats are brought to the cafe through The Capital Area Humane Society. As of November 19, they are up to 39 adoptions!
*With falling in love in mind, I got to see this love match happening between Milo and Creme. Worth it!
KStewand4Cats runs the blog Possumscatsthingsgnawingatme, whose name she should have simplified years ago. She suspects that the cat cafe is cleaner than her own home as Miles, Sookie, Birdie and Olivia Wigglebothum all refuse to run the vacuum. They just nap and lead in home yoga workshops.