It probably wasn’t Sigmund Freud, as it turns out, but someone smart once said, “time spent with cats is never wasted.”
That’s the whole idea Cindy Pennington put behind her recently opened Casual Cat Cafe, Tarrant County’s first spot that combines (very) light fare with a cat lounge, where patrons pay ($10 per hour or $15 for a day) to spend time with cats who are up for adoption.
And even though the cats at Casual Cat Cafe are in between “forever homes” while Pennington takes care of them at her new digs on Glenview Drive, the kitties have no idea how good they’ve got it. After all, they’ve got as many friends as DFW has cat lovers.
It’s all about them, 10 or 12 at a time, at the cafe that’s really more of a cross between a feline adoption center and a playground. Right now the food items are limited to packaged snacks, coffee and bottled drinks, but Pennington is on the lookout for a local bakery to team up with as she gets the fledgling concept off the ground.
Pennington doesn’t consider herself a restaurateur. She’s been an advocate for kitties for eight years, though, and after working with various fostering agencies since 2009, she finally decided to take the plunge and make finding homes for cats her business, full time.
“I have tried to stop fostering several times. Now that we’ve opened a cat cafe, I’ve said ‘we are done fostering,’ ” Pennington said. “We’ve opened an entire business of finding cats homes, but in the first week, someone called me about some newborn kittens, and now we’ve got seven newborn kittens at our house that we’re fostering.”
If the term “cat lady” comes to mind, bring it on, Pennington said. She embraces the moniker, at least on one level.
“There are a lot of fun T-shirts and board games born from the term ‘crazy cat lady,’ ” Pennington said. “But on a deeper level, I’m just a person who appreciates and values the unconditional love and companionship that a pet provides.
“Having multiple cats is a great thing, because they can keep each other company when their owner is at work. And, I think our percentage of male customers would be higher if there wasn’t this ‘cat-lady’ stigma out there.”
If news of Casual Cat Cafe’s opening has your ears perked, here are some of the purr-ticulars:
For the moment, the cafe and cat lounge are open from 2-7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Don’t bring your own cats! They’ve got enough for you to play with right there, already on-site.
It’s a good idea to wear socks. Casual Cat Cafe asks patrons to take off their shoes before entering the cat lounge.
All the cats (for now, Pennington has nine) currently come from Tall Tales Rescue and Transport, but Pennington has agreements in place to foster cats from Richland Hills Animal Services and Hurst Animal Services in the future.
The limited food menu is governed by restrictions the Tarrant County Health Department places on having live animals in the same building where food is served. Patrons can bring a meal or snack with them into the cat lounge, but Casual Cat Cafe can’t prepare or refrigerate any food items in the same building in which the cats are frolicking.
Casual Cat Cafe
- 7624 Glenview Drive
- Richland Hills