Bardstown Road was buzzing with pedestrians making their way to their favorite brunch spots. Locals stepped outside to stretch their legs and walk their pets up and down the lively streets. My friends and I made our way into the Purrfect Day Cafe, located at 1741 Bardstown Road. I was excited to cuddle with cats, but my friends, who claimed to be ‘dog people,’ did not have the same sentiments; one even claimed she hated cats, but that was soon to change.
After stepping inside, we were immediately encapsulated by the cozy atmosphere. Twinkly lights and bright snowflakes lined the walls to celebrate the holiday season, giving the cafe a festive feel. At the counter of the cafe, a menu displayed various fun items such as “paw-stries,” “paw-pcorn,” hot and cold “kitt-teas,” “paw-fee,” and “meow-cohol.” Beside the cash register was a hot chocolate bar with toppings and a souvenir area.
Each cat-visitation session is fifty minutes, and you have the option to book a reservation or just walk-in. Our party of three did a walk-in, and they were able to accommodate us easily. However, there is no guaranteed access to the cat lounge without a reservation. Due to it being a Sunday, the cost was $12 each, though on a weekday it’s only $10. Along with that, you may want to bring extra money for food or beverages to enjoy before the session begins. Participants under 18 must have a waiver signed by an adult, ensuring they’re not severely allergic to cats, will be gentle with them, and won’t try to sneak a cat home in their bag!
There was still a few minutes until our noon session began, so we headed upstairs to the loft area. It was furnished with comfortable seating — a good place to enjoy your drink or snack from the cafe while waiting for your cat visitation to begin.
After chatting in the loft for a few minutes, Rosemary, the “Top Cat” called us down, signaling the start of our session. Everyone gathered before the door and sanitized their hands while listening to a few instructions to ensure that we didn’t push any cats past their comfort zone.
While opening the door, a small, gray, kitten ran past our feet. His name was Sammy, nicknamed the “escape artist.” After he was safely wrestled back into a volunteer’s arms, everyone shuffled into the room. Many people, including our group, let out a squeal as our eyes fell on the adorable sight: 21 kittens sprawled around the room. On the floor, there were baskets and blankets covered with kittens and various cat toys scattered across the room. We saw kittens napping on the chairs and stretched out sunbathing on the windowsill.
When I went to take a seat on the couch with my new kitten friend, a volunteer warned me to be careful where I sat, as there were probably some cats hiding nearby. I lifted up the blanket draped on the couch, and sure enough three gray cats sat huddled together underneath, which they do often times to cope with the overwhelming visitors.
Each feline has a collar with its name; however, that’s not all it indicates. A blue tag on the collar means the cat has already found its ‘fur’ever home and is waiting for their new owner to get them.
While we were relaxing with the cats, my friend, who had previously declared her hatred towards them, texted her parents, asking if there was any way she could get one. When they rejected the idea, the disappointment in her face was clear. She had gotten the chance to bond with a specific cat, something adopters do not experience with the stereotypical adoption scene. Instead of looking at kittens through intimidating cages, future cat-owners can cuddle and play with them in the cafe.
“We’re approaching the business of adopting in a very different way,” says owner Chuck Patton.
And so far, this way seems to be working. There have been over 700 cat adoptions within the seven months the cafe has been open. All adoption proceeds go towards the Kentucky Humane Society, their non-profit partner.
However, this is not only a place for people in the market for a new pet. The fifty minutes went by all too fast, and soon enough it was time to say goodbye to the cats. This seemed to be a difficult task for everyone, and when we went to exit the room, everyone dragged their feet.
We concluded our morning by walking to a nearby coffee shop to eat crepes, sip on our drinks, and discuss the heart warming experience we had.