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Kitty corner: Cat cafe opens in Brooklyn Heights • Brooklyn Paper

Kitty corner: Cat cafe opens in Brooklyn Heights

Main attractions: Comedian Ophira Eisenberg and Brooklyn Cat Cafe mascot Newt will both be at the grand opening of the cafe on May 6.
Photo by Jason Speakman

Get ready to take some purr-sonal time.

Feline fanciers without a kitty to cuddle have a new destination — the Brooklyn Cat Cafe, opening on May 6 in Brooklyn Heights. The launch party that night will feature food, a fantastic stand-up set, and most importantly, plenty of snuggling opportunities with its feline stars, says one of its organizers.

“The big attraction seems to be the cats, so we didn’t want to take away from that,” said Anne Levin, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition, which runs the cafe. “Even while they’re listening to the comedy and talks they’re more than welcome to cuddle. You don’t have to put the cat down and walk away.”

Park Slope comedian Ophira Eisenberg will headline the opening event. The host of National Public Radio’s “Ask Me Another” says it will be her first trip to a cat café, but she hopes to bring down the house — and the house cats.

“It’ll be exciting, it’s my favorite combination of odd and fun,” Eisenberg said. “And I think my comedy really does appeal to both humans and cats. Maybe you’ll see a whisker twitch.”

Other speakers at the event will include cat therapist Carole Wilbourn, and emcee Maria Milito, an animal activist and host of radio station Q104.3.

After the opening night, visitors will be able to spend half an hour in the cafe with the kitties for $5. And if a paw-some puss touches their hearts, they start the adoption process right away

The cafe got a test run last fall, as the a pop-up Cat’s Meow in Fort Greene. Like the pop-up, the Brooklyn Cat Cafe will not serve coffee or make food — city regulations prevent any space with four-legged fluffballs wandering around from preparing food — but it will serve packaged goods, and visitors are encouraged to bring snacks from outside. And the new space will be more comfortable, Levin said, with sofas, comfy chairs, and window seats.

“It’s being set up to feel like someone’s living room,” she said. “The cats can be freaked out and it can be traumatic at some traditional adoption places. The best thing about the cat cafe was that you could just sit there, read a book, and the cats were relaxed — it was a nice place for everyone to come hang out.”

Levin said the cafe will be more than just a place to curl up with a kitty though — the coalition plans to run educational events there, including talks with local vets, as well as offering cat yoga events, cat-themed art shows, and animal therapy sessions.

“Grand Opening with Ophira Eisenberg,” at the Brooklyn Cat Café (149 Atlantic Ave. between Henry and Clinton streets in Brooklyn Heights, www.catcafebk.com). May 6 at 6 pm. $75.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.

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