When it comes to our furry friends, we love ’em all whether you’re talking about dogs or cats! But cat-lovers in the Triangle are going to get a cool, new option to hang out with felines, the Cat Tales Cat Cafe opening soon in Chapel Hill. I had seen the announcement for this interesting concept last summer and kept watch on their space on Franklin Street as construction continued. After a donation of some cat goodies to the Cat Tales Cat Cafe, I was invited for a preview of the space. And I can tell you for sure, it’s going to be an interesting new option in Chapel Hill! Note: As of March 2020, Cat Tales Cat Cafe has found homes for 109 cats.
The Cat Tales Cat Cafe sits in short, 2-story, brick building at 431 W. Franklin Street in what used to be a clothing store. Enter through the side and you’ll be in the cafe area on the 1st floor. Co-owner Katy Poitras (wearing cat ears) is busily working on the opening day preparations and she greets my friend and I. Cat Tales Cat Cafe will be offering coffee, beer, wine and other drinks along with baked goods from Phoenix Bakery in Pittsboro once things get ramped up. Today they’re putting together the display case and some of the other furniture for their space. Right at the entrance there’s also a bulletin board of the current, kitty employees at the Cat Tales Cat Cafe! All kitty employees are from the Goathouse Refuge out in Pittsboro and available for adoption unless they have already been spoken for. We hear some plaintive mewing outside a second glass door and in the stairwell area, it’s time to meet our furry friends!
We walk through the second glass door and into the stairwell foyer area. One noisy cat has already set up shop here in a fleece sleeper, enjoying the sunlight pouring through the window panes. Up at the top of the stairs is Cat Tales Cat Cafe’s main lounge area decorated with a mint green floral mural and with plenty of lounging space. There are several couches, throw pillows in pink and white and young cats skittering about across the polished, wood floor! The residents of the Cat Tales Cat Cafe are mostly 9 months to 2 years old (teenagers) and are young enough to have a lot of energy but old enough to show off their personalities. They range across a variety of colors, from black to white to grey, calico, long-hair, short-hair and more. I hope they get a couple of gingers sometime soon!
There are plenty of toys, exploration tubes and teasers scattered about and the cats seem really well-adjusted. They are coming out to sniff, play and explore while others sit contentedly napping in their chosen spots. Upstairs I meet the second co-owner, Ilene Speizer who is contentedly keeping her furry charges entertained. Cat Tales Cat Cafe is limited to 12 furry employees and they will obviously be rotating in the guests as they get adopted. The $12/hour per person visitation price along with the sale of beverages and snacks will help keep the Cat Tales Cat Cafe up and running. All the adoption fees will go directly to the Goathouse Refuge to support their efforts.
We hang out a bit, my friend Steve plays with one cat while I’ve got Coco Chanel cat following me around for a taste of my Corona beer, she must be a bit of a party girl! They are active and curious kitties making for a fun visit. Katy apparently got the idea for a cat cafe right before she moved from Charleston to the Triangle and she estimates that there are about 80 to 100 cat cafes in the country. And now the Triangle has one, too! The Cat Tales Cat Cafe is working hard towards an opening next week in mid-February but keep an eye out on their Facebook page for more details. Cat-lovers rejoice, you’ve got a new hang-out spot to enjoy the soothing play and preening of some adorable felines out in Chapel Hill…
431 W. Franklin Street, Suite 210
Chapel Hill, NC 27516