I was SO excited to open my email and see I’d received photos of Meow Parlour, New York City’s first cat cafe, in advance of their opening this Monday December 15th! I couldn’t wait to share them with you! Nothing like a West Coast cat cafe story followed by an East Coast cat cafe the next right?!
I absolutely adore the decor and think Kate Benjamin and Jackson Galaxy would approve don’t you? CATIFICATION GALORE anyone?!
Guests at Meow Parlour will be required to remove their shoes before entering the cat area in order to prevent the tracking of unknown dangerous from the city streets that could lead to a health concern. Because in all seriousness, who knows what we’re stepping in out there (I for one try not to think about it!). So you’ve been warned. Matching socks, no holes and/or a pedicure!
But before they do that, they might want to grab a snack and coffee to enjoy in the company of their new feline friends. Meow Parlour Patisserie will reside in a separate storefront where guests can grab treats to-go, or order them in for delivery at no extra charge.It’s unclear at this time if the separation was due to space constraints or something to do with the health code.
The cafe cats come from local rescue group KittyKind where co-founder Christine Ha adopted one of her cats. KittyKind is based on a network of foster homes saving the lives of over 600 cats a year. The cafe will expand their ability to show case their adoptable cats beyond their traditional venues like the Petco at Union Square.
Meow Parlour is co-founded by Christina Ha and Emilie Legrand. Christina Ha is the head Pastry Chef at a place I can’t believe I’ve never been to called “Macaron Parlour” (then again, the city has no shortage of macaroon – or macaron – spots these days!). She’s apparently an overachiever because she also holds a NYC certificate in Animal Care and Handling.
According to the cafe’s website, she and her husband have four cats – Mr Socks, Pickle, Bobo and Poussey. As the story goes, Poussey came to them as KittyKind foster with her siblings, and was quickly “adopted” by Bobo.
Bobo was shattered when she was returned to KittyKind and proceeded to go on an hunger strike until Poussey was back in his sights. Ha! Guess I’m not the only one with a “foster failure”! I do have to wonder who named her though.
Co-founder Emilie was one of the first employees at the “Macaron Parlour.” A large collection of cat tshirts ranks among her claims-to-fame along with the fact she’s visited cat cafes all over the world. Having grown up with cats, Emile currently owned by two felines. I cracked up when reading the description of her cats Kazu and Mia and their relationship.
“She fostered Kazu, a tiny and sickly 2 year-old, for a rescue group and never let her go. Mia joined the family as a companion for Kazu, but Kazu never really comprehended this decision. Fortunately, Mia is very good-natured and quite happy that Kazu tolerates her.”
The website goes on to explain that since Emilie and her cats are from Paris, her cats cannot communicate with Christina’s cats (bahahaha!). But wait, it’s actually far more complicated than that.
“Mr. Socks speaks some Cantonese (he was found in Chinatown!), but the rest of the cats speak only English. Emilie’s cats can speak French and some Catalan! Emilie has no idea what they’re saying when they speak Catalan.”
I cannot wait to meet these ladies.
It was just announced that Rachael Ray donated 174,000 meals of her wet cat food Nutrish to KittyKind. Additionally, those adopting rescue cats either through KittyKind directly or the cat cafe, will receive a two-month supply of the food as well
Note: this is the same cat food Rachael ate on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when it first launched. In case you were wondering she went with mackerel saying it was “the tastiest.” I’ll take her word for it.
he cafe will be open from noon-7pm and reservations can be made online for $4.00 per 30 minute interval. Guest do not have to leave once their assigned 30 minutes is up, but will be required to pay incremental charges upon departing.
There are special times allocated for children under the age of 10 on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday between 3 pm and 5 pm. They must be accompanied by an adult chaperone, and adults without a child will not be allowed in the cafe during those times. (Can’t you just see it now: “rent a child and get into the cat cafe!” It is New York after all.).
Sorry to break the bad news, but Meow Parlour is booked up through January 23rd of 2015, and they are currently only taking reservations through February 13th.
Rules of Meow Parlour:
- All guests must sanitize hands and remove shoes upon entering the premises.
- Do not pull on any cat’s tail
- No flash photography
- No picking up cats unless supervised by a staff member (um…maybe I shouldn’t visit. I fear I wouldn’t be able to control myself. I’m so not kidding. Not pick up a cat!?! I mean, I’m only human and at a cat cafe!)
- Toys for the cats are available at the reception desk and must be returned before leaving (Good luck with that one! I can see it now. Guests on all fours crawling around trying to locate the toy the “checked” out that’s since been batted in some completely impossible-t0-reach nook or cranny! )
- Do not give human food/drinks to cats. You may bring drinks (with the exception of alcohol. Alcohol is not allowed on the premises) from anywhere as long as your cup comes with a lid. You can only consume food from Meow Parlour’s bakery at the premises. Some ingredients are toxic to cats and by consuming only Meow Parlour food, we will be 100% sure of all the ingredients that are in your foods.
- You may gently pet sleeping cats, but you may not [TAMAR ARSLANIAN, WE ARE TALKING TO YOU!] try to wake them up to engage in play.
- You may not give any food or treats to the cats. We go through great lengths to ensure the best diet for our cats and we cannot control their diets if they are given any food or treats. Also, we do not believe in modifying the behavior of the cats by motivating them to only interact with patrons who have treats.
- Cats wearing collars are new to the facility so be extra gentle around them and you may not disturb/pet them while they sleep [TAMAR, AGAIN, WE ARE SPEAKING DIRECTLY TO YOU!]
My favorite request/warning on their website has to be this one:
We have all the cats you need for your visit and we ask that you do not bring any of your own animals to Meow Parlour.
It makes you wonder about people does’t it. That they actually have to put that in writing. Hey, why are you looking at me like that!
So what do you guys think so far? Looks way different than Cat Town. Have a preference?
Meow Parlour is located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan at 46 Hester Street.