Bloomington opens first Cat Cafè

By Farah Bassyouni Sep18,2023
Cat Cafe comic

 

Bloomington’s first cat café opened September 6, offering patrons the option to enjoy their morning coffee with a furry companion. 

Located on 507 N Hershey Road, Suite E, The Cat’s Meow Café fosters cats from the West Bloomington Rescue Pet Central Helps shelter. The café opened to the public with pending adoptions of two cats within the first hour of operation. 

The café assists interested parties in completing adoption paperwork for their resident cats to find their permanent home. All cats at the café are eligible for adoption.

Prior to being placed, cats are housed in a communal space to address behavioral issues. Once cats from the shelter are fostered at the café, they live there until they are adopted. 

With the purchase of any café item, customers may enter the dedicated cat space. During operating hours, there is one member of the staff present in the cat room to supervise and offer assistance in the adoption process. 

At any given time, there are nine cats in residence at The Cat’s Meow Café. They eat, sleep, play, and interact with patrons in a spacious living area. Furnished with tables, a couch, cat trees and cat toys, customers can explore the area and interact with the cats while they enjoy their coffee. 

Illinois Wesleyan University student Lacey Hodge ‘25 visited the establishment Sunday, September 10 and found a fast friend in Hour, a friendly gray tabby with white paws. 

Swiss the Cat (MJ Soria)

He also expressed the importance of interacting with animals as a student living away from home. Without cats at home, Hodge enjoyed the opportunity to interact with them at a local business in the Bloomington area. 

With new exterior signage still being ordered for the establishment, The Cat’s Meow Café can be seen from the outside as The Hair Stadium, a hair salon owned by the previous tenant.

The Cat’s Meow Café asks that interested customers make a reservation through their website. Patrons must sign a waiver at the register to ensure the safety of both the cats and coffee-goers. 

The menu currently offers standard café drinks with non-dairy milk options and breakfast sandwiches – vegan substitutes are forthcoming. Seasonal flavoring and specialty drinks will be available. The Cat’s Meow Cafe is open Monday through Friday from 7-11a.m. and 3-7 p.m., with a break for cleaning; they are also open Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. 

“It was a great pastime, a beacon of light to relieve stress,” said Hodge, “and most of all a very solid place to get coffee.”

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