Pussies galore! Cat cafe opens in Fort Greene

Picture purfect: Jerry Pura cuddles with a fuzzy feline at the opening of Cat’s Meow, Brooklyn’s first cat cafe.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

At this Fort Greene cafe, you don’t just pick up the tab — you can also pick up a tabby.

An animal rescue group has opened a “cat cafe” at Myrtle Avenue and Adelphi Street, where feline fanciers can cuddle kitties while drinking their lattes or get a new pet pussy to-go — and the concept is catnip for local residents, said one patron.

“People just go gaga over it,” said Jerry Pura, who volunteers with the Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition, which is running the venue it has dubbed the Cat’s Meow. “It’s a great way for a neighborhood to get together and just hang out in a comfortable space.”

An actual pet store will open in the storefront in five weeks, but until then, its owners are allowing the coalition to use the space as a pop-up petting zoo. The rescue cats have free rein of the room, and customers pay five bucks to hang out with them for half an hour. If a visitor falls in love with one of the residents, they can adopt the mouser and take it home.

The animal welfare outfit will use the cash it collects to cover the costs of caring for the cats is saves, as well as trapping and neutering feral strays, said the group’s leader.

“Not everyone who comes in is going to want to adopt, and that’s fine, they’re subsidizing the adoption process for the people who will,” said Anne Levin, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition. “Nobody is going to adopt a cat for $2,000, which is what it would cost considering all the costs that go into doing this kind of thing.”

The cafe sells bottled water and packaged snacks, but can’t actually serve the hot beverages its name implies due to city regulations, Levin said. But visitors can bring in coffee and pastries from nearby bakery Brooklyn Sweet Spot or bicycle-store-cum-coffee-shop Red Lantern Bicycles to get the full cafe experience.

In weeks to come, the organizers plan on hosting events in the cafe, including movie screenings, yoga classes, and date nights.

And if the venture is a success, Levin hopes to find a forever home for the Cat’s Meow in the future.

The Cat’s Meow (354 Myrtle Ave. at Adelphi Street in Fort Greene, www.catcafebk.com). Open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm, and Fridays from 11 am to 8 pm through Oct. 24. $5 per half hour.

Reach reporter Harry MacCormack at hmaccormack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @HMacBKPaper.

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