A Portland woman is racing to open North America's first cat cafe.
Purringtons Cat Lounge would follow a model used in Paris and Tokyo (see video below). Basically, patrons come into a cafe to sip wine and pet resident kitties. Bar cats, if you will.
"It really is an place I think Portlanders would eat up," says Kristen Castillo, who had the idea back in October. "It's not really a cat shelter, it's not really a bar, it's not really a cafe—but it's kind of all three."
Purringtons plans to have wine, three rotating local beer taps and "a limited variety of snacks" including popcorn, pickles and beef jerky, which health code allows to be sold in room with animals.
It is not a kitty daycare.
"You absolutely do not bring your own cats because they would probably kill each other," says Castillo.
"I'm partnering with a shelter in Lake Oswego, Oregon Cat Project, and she is going to provide us with 12 cats that get get along with each other and like humans. Really, the idea is that any of those cats are adoptable."
Meaning that if you like the cat you're petting, and it likes you, you can talk to the Oregon Cat Project about adoption, so you can take a kitty home from the bar with you.
Expect to pay a cover, but be allowed to stay as long as you want.
"Tokyo has like 100 cat cafes," Castillo says. "They charge you like $10 and you can only stay for an hour and they put a sticker on you so they know how long you've been there. I don't want to do that."