If your idea of a purr-fect evening (sorry, it was just too tempting) involves sipping steaming beverages and stroking cats, Thursday night is your cup of tea. Or coffee. Or hot chocolate.
The Tenth Life cat organization is hosting a cat café from 5-9 p.m., as part of the once-a-month Cherokee nights showcasing Cherokee Street businesses and venues. The organization’s 2015 calendar and other merchandise will be for sale. But admission and your choice of drink is free, according to Tenth Life’s executive director Elizabeth Frick.
“Mostly, it’s just for fun,” Frick said.
Hot guys and cool cats
About a dozen cats and kittens will be primed for petting inside Tenth Life’s storefront. It’s the third such event the organization has held. The first one in May drew around 100 participants.
“People were packed in here, cuddling cats and drinking coffee,” Frick said. “It was exactly what we’d planned.”
The idea came from cat cafés that first sprung up in Taiwan in the late 1990s before pouncing onto the scene in Japan a few years later. Others recently opened in Oakland, Calif., in New York City and Naples, Fla.
Frick said health regulations prevent Tenth Life from offering a regular café. Without a license, they can’t prepare food and beverages for sale on the premises.
Tenth Life’s third time will be the charm for cat-lovers who also like men who model. Several cat and human models from this coming year’s calendar will be on hand for the event. And in a nod to the holiday season, Santa Claws and Mrs. Claws will make an appearance.
Grumpy cat = safe cat
The cat café is also a way for cat-lovers to socialize and maybe even meet their human match.
“People get out their cell phones and start showing pictures and say things like, ‘Oh, my cat does this,’” Frick said. “People with dogs have dog parks but people with cats don’t, so this is like a dog park for people with cats.”
Well, kind of. Your precious Tiger or Socks has to stay home. I know, I know, I can hear the jealous meows already. But only certain cats even qualify to be part of the café. There’s actually an official “temperament test” they have to pass.
“We want to make sure a cat is not going to bite someone, and that they’re outgoing and OK with strangers petting them,” Frick said.
Cats who become annoyed will be whisked away for a short break.
Previous events have resulted in at least one adoption, and Frick hopes for more. But she also hopes not to see any cats leaving on their own.
“My biggest fear is that one will escape out the door,” Frick said.
Volunteers will be on hand to corral straying cats. And this time, Tenth Life is taking the extra precaution of keeping the cats on long leashes, something that makes most felines’ fur bristle. They’ve been in harness training for a week now, with the hope they’ll accept their fate. It’s not an easy process.
“But it’s better to have them be a grumpy about the harness than to escape down the street,” Frick said.
Where: Tenth Life, 3200 Cherokee St., 63118
When: 5-9 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 11
How much: Free
Information: Tenth Life website
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