Oakland can claim nation’s first cat cafe

imageNovember 7, 2014

In the world of slobbering kisses, dogs beat cats every time. But when it comes to stress relief, cats have the market cornered, thanks to the country’s first cat café – right here in Oakland.

Cat Town Café (2869 Broadway) is the brainchild of Ann Dunn and Adam Myatt, who are borrowing from a popular business model in Japan. In cities like Osaka, cat cafes offer a form of supervised cat rental to people who can’t have pets.

Housed in a storybook building along Oakland’s Auto Row, the cats have their own playroom, separate from the café. They get comfy seats, climbing structures and stimulating toys. Humans get locally-sourced coffee and pastries and sweet treats.

The real fun comes when you enter the Cat Zone. All manner of mousers are waiting to play and to generally do what cats do – climb in your lap, rub against your legs or ignore you completely.

This interaction doesn’t come without risk. These cats are adorable and adoptable – and you may find yourself taking one or two home. I formed a bond with a calico kitten that had dark auburn stripes in her fur. She moved like an ocelot – ever so slowly through the adoring crowd as she assumed her place at the top of a carpeted climbing structure.

Cat Town Café is attracting a lot of attention right now. The concept is unique and combines the need to find homes for shelter cats with the need to fuel our caffeine addiction. If you’re the least bit curious about this new kind of cat rescue, you really ought to check it out. Fur never felt so good.

Around town: Oakland is holding its first ever treasure hunt tomorrow (Saturday) in the area around Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. It’s a race, of sorts, where teams use their smart phones and clues to answer a series of puzzling questions. The non-profit Game Theory Academy is hosting the event, which is patterned after the popular Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt in San Francisco. Sign ups are at www.oaklandtreasurehunt.com

Overcoming odds: Congratulations to Amy Morosini, a Traumatic Brain Injury survivor who placed third in her division, recently, in an Ironman competition in Georgia. Despite being told she would never walk without assistance, this former Montclarion did a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run to win bronze in the Female Physically Challenged Division.

On TV: If you watched 48 Hours on CBS last month, you may have recognized one of the sets. Reader Bennett Hall says his Montclair home was used for a very serious segment involving child molestation. Kristen’s Secret aired October 18 but you can see it at http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/kristens-secret/. Hall hopes Oakland will go after more film work by fully funding its Film Oakland agency.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by email at ginnyprior@hotmail.com or on the web at www.ginnyprior.com.


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