Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Visiting a Cat Cafe...

On nearly every list of pet loving cities, you will find my city - Austin, TX close to the top. Our affinity for animals is the reason that we are America's largest No Kill city. Throughout the downtown area alone, you can find dozens of pet-friendly parks, pet themed events taking place and even animal-themed artwork!

Last October, one more animal-friendly business, Blue Cat Cafe opened it's doors to cat and coffee lovers. In that time-frame, they have teamed up with the Austin Humane Society and offer up their cafe space to cats looking for homes. I had a moment to chat with owner Rebecca Gray, who delightfully shared that since their opening day, the Blue Cat Cafe has adopted out nearly 200 cats! 
Jazz, my personal cat and tote
bag model was adopted through
Austin Humane Society.
Order a Jazz tote here >>
Being a volunteer photographer for various rescues and an avid animal lover, I am always thrilled to visit and support other small businesses that support local charities and help promote our area's adoptable pets. In particular, the Austin Humane Society will always have a special place in my heart, as my two kitties, Jazz and Izze Belle, were both adopted from them. 

Today, I decided to take a little time away from the studio and visit Blue Cat Cafe for the first time (I know, I know... how did it take this long??). After stepping through the doors, I was greeted by a handful of curious cats. The cafe itself was fairly empty when I arrived, with 3 small groups of visitors, each playing with various cats and toys. The walls are covered in cat-themed artwork and shelving units that allow the cats to jump and climb to their furry little heart's content. In the middle of the cafe, a large man-made tree wrapped with rope (purrfect for climbing and scratching) stretches up to the ceiling, where cats can pass across the room on on a raised walkway designed specifically for them. If that's not enough, the cats have adorably designed beds to curl up in (my favorite being the hollowed out Macintosh), plenty of hiding spaces to retreat to if they are feeling overwhelmed and all the attention they could ever want from the many patrons visiting the cafe. Oh, and of course, a smaller sectioned off space hosts a handful of fuzzy little kittens who are currently available for adoption. I happily spent some time snuggling up with these charming babies who had just returned from their spay/neuter surgeries and were now waiting for their new families to find them.

I attempted to count the cats in my initial view, but every time I turned around, a new furry face would appear. My best guess was 15 - 20 cats reside at the cafe at any given time? While I don't know the exact number of cats, I can tell you that this place is certainly a great spot for any cat lover! The coffee is tasty, they offer an entirely Vegan menu (always a plus to a cruelty-free lifestyle supporter like myself) but the cats are definitely the real treat here! Next time, I will happily bring my laptop and stop in for a coffee and some kitty-themed work hours!

Want to visit the Blue Cat Cafe yourself? Stop by during their business hours at 1400 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX 78702. You definitely won't regret the visit! 

Stephanie Conrad
Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist

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Meet Rico, my latest custom cat portrait model.
Order a painting of your own kitty at www.petstudioart.com
Featured Adoptable Cat of the Week: Cadence
This lovely tabby girl came into the Williamson County Regional
Animal Shelter pregnant and scared. After being a wonderful mother
to her babies and seeing them all off to their new forever homes, this
sweet lady is now waiting for her chance to be taken care of. Cadence is
a calm girl, just over 1 year old and is very gentle. Come meet her at
the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter in Georgetown, TX.