Now that all of us at the Cat Connection have finally caught our breath following Saturday’s Pop-Up Cat Café, we are so happy to share the final numbers of the event. Drum roll, please!
Number of Café attendees: 600
Number of Café cats adopted / pending adoption: 3
Amount raised for Operation Kindness: $1,000
All we can say is WOW! What a great day for everyone, human and feline alike. Thank you to all the DFW Cat People who braved the Texas heat to attend the event. You helped make a huge difference in the lives of at least 3 cats and helped to raise a substantial amount of money for a very worthy cause. You, and your kitty friends, are the reason we do what we do.
The Pop-Upness of the Pop-Up Café
The response to the Café was overwhelmingly positive, but we did receive some feedback regarding the Pop-Upness of the Pop-Up Café, which we wanted to address. There are still three more Café weekends this month, so here’s what you need to know about the Café going forward:
The number of Café Cats
It’s true that due to the permanence of the space, most established Cat Cafés have a large number of resident cats for patrons to interact with. The cats are able to come and go from the Café space at their leisure, and multiple rooms, many of which are off-limits to patrons, allow the cats to take a break from being on display, as well as help to navigate the complex world of cat-on-cat interaction.
The Pop-Up Café at the Cat Connection featured 9 felines from Operation Kindness. And although all of the kitties spent the evening before the event at the Café in order to get acclimated to the space, it was still a new, somewhat scary territory to the kitties. Thus, while a few Café cats were very social and obviously pleased to be outside of a shelter environment, a few were more wary of the crowds and tended to keep to themselves.
That said, as always at the Cat Connection, the safety and well being of the cats is our first priority. For the size of our space and the short time the cats would be there, we decided that approximately 10 or so cats was the appropriate number to have in the Café. We wish we could have had more cats, if only to find homes for more of them, but again, limiting the number was the correct thing to do for the sake of our Café cats.
The Café Space
Yes, it’s true that the Café was essentially held in a store room at the back of the Cat Connection. But the staff worked for WEEKS to transform the space into a Café that both patrons and cats could enjoy: we scrubbed and painted, installed shelves and cat trees, purchased and rented furniture, hung curtains and pictures, all to transform a pretty dreary warehouse space into, in our opinion, a pretty passable Café:
Of course, we’d love to have the funds to build a more Café-like space, but the cats didn’t seem to mind our DIY Café!
We were thrilled to have a line form around our store for access to the Café, and even more thrilled that people were willing to wait in it. We know that this can be frustrating, but for the cats’ safety and comfort, we needed to limit the number of patrons allowed in the Café at one time.
This is common practice at all Cat Cafés, permanent and pop-up. Did you know that New York City’s first Cat Café, Meow Parlour, had a 2-month long wait when it first opened? So thank you for your patience while waiting in our line. We know that the pot of cat gold at the end of the rainbow was worth it!
This is a fundraiser
We really just want to emphasize that the Café was and will remain a fundraiser for local shelters. Our budget and resources were limited, but the event still managed to raise $1,000 for Operation Kindness and help find at least 3 kitties a home! We are so proud of this fact, and we really hope to keep up this amazing momentum for the next few weekends in August, when other shelters will be featured. For the complete schedule of shelters, please click here!
So again, thank you to all of the dedicated DFW Cat People who came out to spend some quality time with kitties and help support a local shelter. We hope to see you at the Cat Connection every Saturday in August for more kitties, more coffee and more fun. In the meantime, please check out some great press and pictures from our inaugural weekend!
“Feline fanatics flock to Dallas’ first cat café,” The Dallas Morning News