The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I will be the first to admit: I am a dog person.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate cats, but growing up in a dog-only household didn’t give me much opportunity to spend time around them. So when my friends and I decided to visit a cat café over the summer, I didn’t know what to expect.
If for some reason you don’t know what cat cafés are, they’re unique cafés where you can order food and drinks while also getting the opportunity to spend time with cats. I recommend this Her Campus article if you’re looking for a more detailed explanation of cat cafés. It shocks me how in such a relatively short period of time, cat cafés have been able to take over the United States. You can find one pretty much everywhere nowadays. Fun fact: the second-ever cat café to open in the United States is the Denver Cat Company (for all my fellow CU Boulder readers out there).
Getting back to my story, my friends and I had been throwing around the idea of going to a cat café for a while. We had heard about them online, but none of us had been to one before. After some research, we decided to visit Mount Purrnon Cat Cafè in Virginia. As we made the drive over, I couldn’t help but wonder about what to expect. Would there be cats everywhere? How was I expected to interact with them? And, most importantly, would there be cat hair in my food?!
(Thankfully it turns out I didn’t have to worry about that last one, as they kept the food separate from the cats at this café.)
Stepping into the main cat room at Mount Purrnon, I was immediately greeted by a huge sign with all of the cats’ names and pictures. I’m not sure if this is common in all cat cafés, but this one functioned as both a café and a cat adoption center (which I thought was a thoughtful idea). I was also not bombarded by cats as I imagined, as most of the cats were busy sleeping in various areas of the room. While my friends immediately went over to greet the cats, I decided to sit down on a sofa for a minute and timidly sip the latte I had bought at the main café downstairs. As I sat, this little black and white cat came over and sat by the window next to me.
Just like that, all of my previous uncomfortableness melted away. For the rest of the time we spent at the cat café, I slowly fell in love with all of the cats there. Unlike dogs, I thought every cat shared a similar nonchalant attitude. Oh, boy, was I wrong. In one corner of the room, my friend played with a rambunctious cat who shared the personality of someone who had just drunk a triple shot espresso. Just behind them, a rather lazy cat dozed off in the sunlight. Later on, I met another cat who was extremely timid around people. I found it entertaining encountering the unique personalities of the different cats. Even though I was used to only interacting with dogs, I felt so at ease at Mount Purrnon.
Since that day, I have been on a cat café craze. I downloaded a bunch of cat apps, even a cat café one called Furistas. Although I would still consider myself a dog person, I am much more fond of cats than before I went to Mount Purrnon. Who knows, I might even consider adopting a cat café cat after college!