“I am going to have coffee with cats. Will you come along?” My daughter asked me.
“What!” I wondered aloud. Till now I had heard only about ‘Koffee with Karan’, but when she said something like coffee with cats, I wasn’t sure if I had heard it right.
“The cat at home keeps a constant watch on me and two more in the society stalk me for food the moment they see me. And, you want me to go to some place to have coffee with some more cats?” I asked her.
Not paying much heed to my questions, my daughter urged me to join her. Though it didn’t make much sense to me, yet I agreed and we reached the Cat Café Studio in Andheri.
At the first glance, it looked like a small, cosy place. We stepped inside the corridor. Right at the entrance lying down on the floor was a huge Labrador dog, who raised his head once, looked sheepishly at us, and then continued to doze. We saw a counter at one end; there was a small café along the corridor.
From a glass door in front of us, we could see the hall with a low seating arrangement. Some cats were moving around. A staff standing by the door asked us if it was our first time at the Cat Café Studio. When we nodded in affirmation, he guided us on the entry procedure. We would need to place our order for coffee at the counter to enter the Cat Area. An order from the cafe section is treated as an entry fee for the Cat Area.
“The order would be served in the Cat Area,” he said.
After placing the order, we were asked to wash our hands, and take our shoes off before entering the hall. Inside the hall, some cats were lounging around. Many of them were sleeping on the tables or inside their bunkers.
A young girl took us to our table. As we made ourselves comfortable on the cushions by the table, a small kitten came and perched on my lap. At that very moment, I developed an instant liking for the place.
So here’s a peep into the Cat Café Studio (CCS)
The atmosphere in the studio is very relaxing. There are about 20 cats in the studio, yet it doesn’t look cluttered. The studio is nicely decorated with posters, pictures and cat-friendly furniture and toys. There are board games and cards too.
The cats are spotlessly clean. They have been rescued by The Cat Café Studio Team from the streets of the city. The cats are vaccinated, neutered and toilet trained before they enter the CCS clan. Some of them are shy, but some others like the kitten who came to me, are very Human-friendly.
Nile, a blind cat responds nicely to a rattle toy. Two cats are playing with a scratch post and another one comes and come up and starts sniffing my bag. She then puts her paw inside my purse.
The caretakers keep an eye on the cats and ensure that at all points of time the atmosphere in the Cat Area is conducive to the visitors and the felines. My daughter tells me that many of the caretakers of cats are students who volunteer their services. With a lot of interest, they tell us about the cats.
At any point in time, if the cats do not want to have visitors around, they can escape to another room, which is exclusively for the cats. Likewise, visitors who do not want to eat in the company of cats can have their grub in the Café Area in the corridor. We come to know that CCS also organises something called ‘Mewga‘. (Yoga with cats). And yes, all cats are up for Adoption.
It was very pleasant and de-stressing to observe and play with these furry felines. After spending about an hour and a half both of us came out feeling very happy.
I found this a very novel concept of promoting kindness towards animals by caring for rescued cats and finding them loving homes. Though people mostly prefer to buy breed cats, it is better to adopt a pet than buying a pet from the breeders as there is a massive stray population of animals on the streets of India. From my experience with our cat Po, I can say that stray cats that are adopted are no less loving than any breed cat.
The place is one of its kind in Mumbai. It has a great ambience. In fact, this is a feline haven to explore for all those who want to adopt a cat or simply fancy sipping a cup of coffee in the company of some friendly felines.
You can check out their website http://catcafestudio.com/