When I was travelling a while back, I came across a cat cafe in Penang and it caught my attention. What a great idea! Some people can’t have their own cats because they rent a ‘pet free’ property or they travel around too much and can’t commit. The cat café craze started in Taiwan, providing a haven for coffee addicts who want to sip their latte in the company of cats. The word got out and the rest of the world caught on.
Sydney is now embracing the cat cafe culture.
I met with Veronica Morland, lawyer by day and self-professed crazy cat lady by the weekend, who has taken to the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to raise seed capital to bring her own “purrfect” cat café to inner city Sydney! Veronica launched a pop -up cafe a couple of months ago in Paddington, Sydney and it was hit with cat loving locals.
“Sydney Cat Café” will be anything but ordinary. Even as far as cat cafes go, the model is unorthodox, allowing patrons to adopt the rescue kitties that grace its floors, couches and windowsills. It follows that a unique launch was a necessity. “We didn’t want to launch our crowd-funding campaign the usual way,” says Morland. “Rather than simply doing a media blast to spread the word, we brainstormed more guerrilla-type ideas and came up with the idea of a pop up kitten café. What better way to test the waters and introduce ourselves to the cat-loving community than to give people a taste of things to come?” The result was paws-itive all round – the event received international press and social media attention and twelve of the Maggie’s Rescue kittens were adopted by adoring patrons.”
The Sydney Cat Café is set to launch permanently in September, and will be billed as experiential – a space unlike any other. Apart from the all-important presence of felines, Veronica plans to offer complimentary WiFi and set-ups to suit all needs, from a place to plug in your laptop, a date-spot with a difference or simply a home away from home.
Importantly, Veronica aspires to open Sydney’s first adoptable cat cafe – that’s to say that the cafe would function as a foster home for felines looking for forever homes. “If we achieved 12 adoptions in only four days at our pop up, imagine what we can do in a month, a year.”
Sydney Cat Café is now accepting pledges in return for passes to the café, tickets to special events, and a range of adorable merchandise, but don’t paws – the campaign ends on July 13 2015.
You can donate to the project at Kickstarter
Photo credit: Attila Szilvasi Photography