New York City: Cat Cafés

It started with viral videos of cat cafés in Japan and I wondered if New York had any type of animal cafés. Well, they do have a plenty of cat cafés – and gosh I sure was excited to visit them all! Cat Cafés associates with different animal organisations to feature adoptable or foster-able cats. The following list is in an order of which I’ve visited, please note that most of the information are based off website details and personal experience.

At the end of the day, I’m encouraging for cat lovers and cafe goers to definitely visit.

Koneko Cat Café

6 Clinton Street, New York 10002 – 646.370.5699 – www.konekonyc.com

We visited on July 20th, 2016. We made a reservation a few days before and paid for the tickets online – pretty convenient and straight forward. Once you enter, you get to order any drink or food and you do have the option to consume inside the Cat Sanctuary. I had an okonomiyaki which is a delicious Japanese Pancake and a Hibiscus Ice Tea. Before entering the sanctuary you are required to check in your backpack and jackets, and switch out your footwear to koneko slippers. The guests are also required to sign a waiver, making sure that you don’t harm the cats so that the cat won’t harm you. We visited on a Thursday around 12pm and we stayed in the Cat Sanctuary for about 2 hours. There were 3 levels: the main floor, outdoor, and playtime floor having about 15-19 cats. The cats “featured” are pulled from “at-risk” list by Anjellicle Cat Rescue. Koneko is the biggest cat cafe among the other cat cafes in New York City. Now they offer a 5-course tasting menu in which I haven’t tried. (Soon though!) They also do cute events such as “Kitty Brunch”, “Mewvie Nights”, “Guide Meditation”, “Drag Karaoke”, “Sake Tasting”, “Occasional events – Easter, Christmas, Halloween”, and even sometimes invite artists. The staff there are very down to earth and pleasant.

 

Meow Parlour

46 Hester Street, New York 10002 – www.meowparlour.com

Meow Parlour is the first Cat Cafe in New York City. My friend and I visited around 6pm-onwards and it was packed. We made a reservation online to book for 30-minute stay. What I love about Meow Parlour is that they also feature “special” cats and turns out that they’re more loving and playful! Before entering this beautiful sanctuary, we had to also sign a waiver and switch out our footwear to white slippers. Meow Parlour carries about 10 cats, which are provided by Kitty Kind Organisation. This Cat Cafe has two separate stores, one for Cat Sanctuary and the other one (not too far from the other) is an actual Cafe. We stayed in the Cat Sanctuary and ordered pastries to be delivered. They have super cute merchandises displayed right at the door- can’t resist to at least get a tote bag! They also do cute events such as “Cats and Comedy Nights”, “Yoga and Kitties Class”, “Drag Bingo”, and even had Hannah Shaw a.k.a KittenLady to do a talk.

 

Little Lions

40 Grand Street, New York 10013 – Permanently Closed

In that one month I went on a cat cafe craze, and I was really looking forward to go to Little Lions before finally visiting Brooklyn Cat Cafe. Little Lions is the 2nd biggest cat cafe to me, it has two separate stores that’s right next to each other. The left side is the cafe itself whereas the right side is the one big cat sanctuary. Their vibe and ambience is really chill. Just like the first two cafes, we made a reservation first. When we walked in, we were directed to check in at the left store first to sign a waiver before entering the cat sanctuary store on the right. They had cute off-white vintage settings in the cafe area with some merchandises and the signature tote bag. They served coffee, tea, sandwiches, cut-out cat shaped cookies, and desserts. The Cat Cafe sanctuary had beautiful vintage decors of purple and off-white colour theme. Once you walk in, on the left hand side is a cat playground stacked shelves that goes pretty high up. By the time we went in, they’ve just had their meal so it was nap time. Nevertheless, some cats were woken up as we brought some snacks with us – they were all particularly friendly. They had about 20 cats in-store at the time. Best Friend Animal Society Organisation provides adoptable and foster-able cats as well. This organisation was fairly new so unlike other rescue organisations mentioned above, they do not have a fixed location shelter. Instead, they would do pop up events – meaning to rent out a store location for a day or so to feature cats for adoption. How do I know this? There is a representative from Best Friend Animal Society that comes in to the cafe to give customers insight of each cat in-store and what the organisation do. I, personally, had an hour worth of chatting with the representative – their knowledge of each cat was really impressive. They rescued so many cats and kittens that they become overwhelmingly loaded. Therefore, they believe in lowering adoption fees to $10, approachable and affordable. Again, how I know this? I actually attended one of the pop up event of Best Friend Animal Society just to see if they were true and to know how their procedure works.

 

And because of them, I adopted my first furry companion, Little Gello. ❤

Sadly, they closed suddenly 2 weeks after my visit. Super thankful I got there just in time or else I wouldn’t have met Gello.

Ok. Moving on-

Brooklyn Cat Café

149 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11201 – 347.946.2286 – www.catcafebk.com

Finally, Brooklyn Cat Cafe. It took me a while before I could finally get to this place just because it’s in Brooklyn. We took the 7 train to Court Square then changed to the G train, then there was about 20 minutes walk to the cafe. The layout of the store was actually very similar to Meow Parlour. We walked in, checked in and signed a waiver. The first thing you’d see when you go through is a window full of kittens! They do a live 24/7 kitten cam online so you can just look at them all day when you’re at home! (Go ahead and click it! You’re welcome!) The place was pretty busy, filled with people playing with cats. Brooklyn Cat Cafe has a mini fridge to cool bottled beverages and a mini bar for light snacks – not so much for a cafe but that’s okay. They have cute kittens, active cats, cozy sofas, and lots of cat toys. We stayed for 30-minutes because the place was getting more packed than before and I was getting hungry. So before coming here, make sure you have a full meal – these cats will tire you out.

 

 

Cat Cafes does an extraordinary job in promoting to adopt or foster cats. There’s pamphlets, info boards, business cards, and every employee has in-depth knowledge about it as well. If you are looking to adopt or foster a cat(s), please adopt don’t buy.

Thank you for reading this,

please stay tuned for my next blog/vlog “Get Ready with Me to Ariana Grande’s Concert.”

If you’d like way more updates about what’s going on in my life – follow me on instagram @itslittlerivy

New York Comic Con 2016

This was my very first time attending Comic Con. It was incredibly awesome! It’s a place where everyone comes together and dresses up as their favourite characters. Mark and I dressed up as Princess Jasmine and Aladdin, whereas my best friends dressed as Sailor Scouts.

We all met up at my apartment at 10am since I live the closest to the Javits Center. As soon as we left the apartment, eyes were all on us. Some did look quite confused and some even “reminded” us that it’s too early for Halloween, but numerous of bystanders wished us all a good time at New York Comic Con. (Keep up with the times, people!) On the train we already got some picture requests.

Once we’ve reached to the convention center. OH-EM-GEE.

It was heaven! Practically everyone were dressed up and some of them were LEGIT-looking costumes. It was amazing. There were a lot of Harley Quinns, Jokers, and Deadpools. Since we walked altogether to different areas, we kept getting out photos taken. It was such an amazing feeling. The part I loved the most is where the kids would run up to me calling “Princess Jasmine!” Also, some book stalls ask for pictures with their art version of Princess Jasmine! It was fun to be in-character and act like a princess for a day. Smiling, waving and posing with my dear Aladdin. It was so worth going and putting such effort into our costumes. Will definitely go every year onwards!

 

Gello Oponda

On August 19 Friday, we visited Little Lions – NYC Cat Cafe.

They had about 20 cats in-store and all were adoptable. They came from a rescue shelter, Best Friend Animal Society.

Sipping a cup of tea, a gentlemen who happened to be one of the shelter volunteers spoke to me about each and every cat there. He had such pure knowledge and passion when he spoke about them.

Best Friend Animal Society is a new booming rescue shelter. They are so new that they do not have their own location where people can simply adopt. Instead, they do pop up adoption events in big stores. For an example, their next pop-up adoption location was at a salon by flatiron building on August 27 Saturday.

Usually, I do engage myself into long never ending conversations with volunteers from the past cat cafe visits. However, this particular one from Little Lions Cat Cafe intrigued me the most.

So on August 27 Saturday, we attended the pop-up adoption event.

And.

One look to every cage at the store and my heart was completely sold to Angelo. He was tiny and skinny. His big sky blue eyes were looking right at me. It was such a strange connection to have, and with a cat! I immediately voiced to the volunteers that I would like to have a “bonding moment” with him. This is where they put you in a corner with the cat alone to see if you and the future pet vibe well.

When I first held him, he was as light as a feather. I was so scared to crush his perfect body with even little strength. Now we’re up close and his details were absolutely stunning. The selected white fur mapped from the centred his face down to his chin. His white socks on all four paws. The white tip on his black tail. His extremely long white whiskers that appeared to be too long for his face.

As soon as I held him, he was so happy and active. A minute later, he was purring. He was perfect.

Right after, I filled out the adoption papers and confirmed all the details.

On August 27th at 1:05pm, Angelo is finally adopted.

 

What was I thinking?

What was I thinking..

To be saving up for 2 years with full time jobs that had impossible grave yard shifts.

What was I thinking..

To be arranging two of my friends as roommates in New York City

What was I thinking..

To be moving into a city, hoping that things will go according to plan

What was I thinking..

To be financially stable on my own and assuring my parents that I don’t need their financial help

What was I thinking..

To be full time in both school and work

What was I thinking..

To be ordering from seamless every now and then but swore to cook

But.

I did it anyway. I’m still surviving, striving, and smiling. I feel more independent and confident from each decision I made. Surround yourself with positive energy, they’ll guide you through it.

Just take it one step at a time.

CX831 – Five minutes until take off

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

Success is a simple measurement of the commitment, sacrifice & pain one endures to achieve a dream.

-Anonymous

Panting. Grabbing onto my backpack and running around the departure area,           trying to find GATE 17.

Boarded. Finding my seat. Oh, there at the front row by the window at the economy section.

I was excited and anxious for the whole new journey that was awaiting for me. While I try to make myself comfortable, I fiddled with my surroundings like a child- clicking the light button repeatedly, playing with the cigarette ashtray only to find pieces of dried gum inside. I knew it was going to be a while until I find myself on a plane again.

Five minutes before lift off.

Passengers adjusting into their seats. The sounds of storage compartments clicking, weights of their heavy carry ons, flight attendants helping with a hush tone and passengers’ bickering that filled the limited air were slowly dying down.

Four minutes left.

I am on a non-stop plane from Hong Kong to New York. (That’s 15 hours) As my mind rambles on it’s own, it slowly hits me who and what I’m leaving behind. Home. Geez, I’ll miss the apartment my family and I have lived in for the past 18 years, especially my bedroom. I will miss the sweet subtle perfume my mother always wear. The worn out leather jackets my father loves to collect. I felt queasy as the “soon-to-be-homesick” thoughts ran through my mind.

Three minutes.

I pulled out my backpack that was securely stored underneath my seat, took my childhood pillow out, and held it as tightly as I could. The seatbelt sign lit up with a ding sound, the lights dimmed as the safety video played. The airplane was starting to move on the runway.

Two minutes.

I embraced the pillow, clenching it tightly. Quick flashbacks of home filled my mind: my parents, my brother, best friends, and just all of “home”. I remembered the big farewell surprise party they organised for my 18th birthday, first drinks, first job – all the memories, tears, and laughter.

One minute.

I inhaled and exhaled again. The entire aircraft was trembling. The growing growling sound of the engines made my heart beat faster. The only images in my head were the last farewells at the airport from my family and friends. My eyes were fairly swollen from tearing up when they announced the last call for GATE 17 departure. I have said my goodbyes. Now the plane is angling at about 15 degree.

Lift off.

My chest sunk for a split second. I slowly opened my eyes with tears streaming down my cheeks. I looked out of the window and saw the Hong Kong islands below me. I whispered once again, “goodbye.” Inhale, exhale.

This was originally written on her moleskine book in 2012.