The Mad Catter café opened on Wednesday bringing friends and felines together.
The newest café to open in St. John’s pairs coffee with cats. For a cause.
The Mad Catter opened on Wednesday. Located on Duckworth Street, the café allows people to adopt cats that are inside.
Colin Williams, one of the owners of the café, says that any cat lover in St. John’s knows there are a lot of cats out there that are in need of homes.
“We’re really excited,” Williams said. “Not only to bring something new and fun to the city, something that people can do that they haven’t been able to do before, but also something that can help find homes for these animals,” Williams said.
College of the North Atlantic student Shauna Tobin thinks the concept of a cat café is great.
“There’s nothing else like that here,” said Tobin. “It’s such a great way to come in and actually meet a cat and have an experience with the cat before you adopt, more so than seeing it behind a pane of glass or through a website.”
If a customer is interested in adopting a cat from Mad Catter, they can get the forms they need from staff. The adoption, however, will be handled by City Humane Services. If selected, the customer can then pick up the cat they’ve chosen from the café.
The two owners, originally from St. John’s, got the idea when they visited a cat café in Europe. Soon, talks began of starting one in St. John’s.
The café has two rooms. The first being a take-out coffee bar where customers can order their beverage. The second is a well-heated cat lounge where customers can sit, play, watch or pet their furry friends.
Since these kind of cafés are a new concept, it took Eddy and Williams about nine and half months to get the café open and ready for business.
They did, however, have some challenges along the way.
Williams said they had to work closely with local health authorities.
“We had to work very closely with the city, the planning department and just to make sure everything we were doing fit within the legislation and regulations that exist,” said Williams.
Patrick O’Rielly, who is also a college student, is like most students and gets stressed out. So, being able to relax and be surrounded by cats helps him relieve stress.
“Our school usually brings in animals every now and then but it’s usually puppies and reptiles and I’m more of a cat guy,” O’Rielly said.
Bringing the unusual cafe to St. John’s was a labour of love.
“We really love this city, we really love this province and it brings us great joy to bring something new to it that we’re passionate about and something everyone else seems to be equally passionate about.”