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Cat Cafe! Le Café des Chats.

Cat Cafe! Le Café des Chats.

| On 29, Sep 2014

Le Café des Chats. Yes, you read correctly…there is a Cat Café!  While in Montreal a week or so back, SASSYTIDBITS checked out the first Cat Café in North America. We arrived at the Saint Denis location expecting to wait, as there has been quite a bit of a buzz. Although there was a line, it wasn’t too long and we were inside within 10 minutes. The café makes you feel at ease right away and attentive staff is on hand. We ordered coffee, which was purrfect. The eight cats who currently live there were in various parts of the café, mostly hanging out on cat trees. Other than the cats, it seems like any other busy café: people chatting with friends, reading or working on laptops. Before anyone gets too finicky about details, the kitchen is a cat free zone, so no worries about food service concerns. The cats are well taken care of with food and water bowls available. There is a cat only area in case they need some alone time and it also houses their litter boxes. We met Nadine Spencer who is one of the owners and asked her a few questions on how and why one opens a cat café.

  1.      How does one decide to create a Cat Café?   My partner had wanted to open a café for quite some time, something with a theme that had not yet been done in Montreal.  After many long hours of pondering he saw that this concept was doing amazing over in Asia, and also quickly popping up in major cities throughout Europe, so he thought it would be a great idea to open one here in Montreal.
  1.      Is this what you wanted to be when you grew up?  I had no idea this is where my path would lead, but I’m so happy to be where I’m at today :)
  1.      When you first decided to open the café, what was the most pleasantly surprising and what was a more difficult detail?  The most pleasant part was going to see all of the amazing kitties at the SPCA Montreal!  It was so hard to choose from so many amazing cats, but it was such a great experience. It definitely put a huge smile on our face each time we went, and are so happy to have such incredible kitties!  The most difficult was learning the shocking news of another café opening with a similar concept.
  1.    Your eights cats are lovable, did you get find them before you started the process of opening the café, or just before you opened?  We presented the project to the SPCA in February and started the process of choosing the cats at the end of March beginning of April.  They were all kept in quarantine for a month and a half before coming to the café in mid-June, and then had a period of 2 months to adapt to their new home before we opened to the public.
  1.     Tell us a little about each of the cats and their personalities.  Do you have a favourite?  Well they all have their own personalities indeed. King Kong, the eldest (going on 6) and also largest, is the quietest and maybe shyest of the group and you could also say a ‘scardy cat’, but will come running at the sound of treats! Snow, a dashing all white cat with beautiful blue eyes is more on the independent side and loves to spend most of his day lounging about in the cat tree. Big Foot, the big boss if you will, who is also a polydactyl (has 6 toes), trots about keeping watch over everyone and loves to play with the little ones, all while making sure they abide by the ‘rules’. Sidibou, the most affectionate of them all!  He always greets me with a kiss every day and loves to get a rub down. When he gets tired of socializing he heads on over to my laptop for a snooze, I think he’s a music lover at heart. Sauvageon, an active kitty full of energy, he loves to play about with the younger ones but also loves his nap time.  His soft spot is under his neck and you can often find him sprawled out on the floor enjoying a good belly pet. Séa, the one and only adorable female of the family, aka the ginger princess.  She is quite the diva and loves attention but purrs nonstop in return.  She too loves a belly rub just after waking up. Munchkin, the philosopher of the group.  He loves to stare up at the ceiling, pondering life or looking at…reflections?  A very playful little rascal, who I believe is learning the ropes to one day take Big Foots place and become the ‘boss’! Peace, the youngest of them all (approx 5 months) is the busiest of them all!  Never a dull moment with this kitty around!  He is always on the go either playing with the others or solo with his ball.  He’s not one to give much affection; unless you play with him first…then he might allow you to give him a nice little belly rub.
  1.      Will you consider getting more cats?  Are people able to adopt the cats from the café?We can have up to 14 cats and definitely plan on adding to our family of 8!  People are not able to adopt our cats, rather they adopt the clients. We do however highly promote adoption.
  1.      What kind of music do the cats like the most?  They really love piano and jazz music…anything low key and soulful.
  1.      Do you have a preference on how people experience the café?  The best way to experience is with a lovely cup of coffee or tea and I say the best time is first thing in the morning…there’s no better way to start your day with a dose of kitty love & a hot cup of your favorite drink!
  1.    Are you going to open another Cat Café? Any words of wisdom for those you might want to start a Cat Café?  We would love to do so, hopefully in the next year or two.It’s a lot of work, but worth every second! Nothing beats the smile those little ones put on your face every day…it truly is pure therapy.

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