Cat cafes, those coffee shops that let you cuddle with kitties while sipping on espresso, are popular in cities like San Francisco and San Diego – even Omaha, Neb. is getting one.
Fresno doesn’t have one.
But it will Friday, when a one-day “pop-up” of a cat cafe dubbed “Catppuccino” happens 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Bitwise South Stadium, 700 Van Ness Ave. About 15 cats – adults and kittens – will be available for adoption.
If it’s successful, it could become a regular thing, said organizer Brittany Stevens, a cat lover and executive assistant at one of the company’s inside Bitwise.
“Fresno is ready for the things that these big cities have,” she said.
Before you start worrying about cat hair in your cappuccino, here’s how it works.
People order drinks at the new coffee shop inside Bitwise named USBean (its predecessor Valparaiso became a mobile business).
The cats aren’t anywhere near the coffee shop (the health department would likely have a problem with that). Instead, the cats are in a separate room, complete with cat toys, with a human watching the door for fleeing felines.
“You’re able to bring in your coffee or you snacks or if you’d rather just watch from outside, (we’re) just trying to mimic the overall the feel of a cat cafe,” Stevens said.
While cat cafes typically charge a fee to cuddle with the kitties, Catppucino won’t. However, that could change if the cafe becomes permanent.
The Feral Paws Rescue Group is supplying the cats. The nonprofit is a cat rescue with an emphasis on saving cats in shelters with high-kill rates who have less than five days to survive.
Despite its name, the rescue group deals with more than just feral cats. All the cats at the cafe are friendly.
The cafe will have cats like Mali, 7, rescued from a hoarding situation, and Mr. Wiggles, a 2-year-old who was surrendered by his owner to the SPCA. Kittens from a Tulare shelter will also be at the event.