Friday, August 10, 2018

Lola on the Road: The Cat Parlour (Pawtucket, RI)


Welcome to the fifth post in our series “Lola on the Road”. Throughout the summer I’ll be visiting several cat cafes and sharing my experiences with our readers. Coffee and cats; two of my favorite things! If you missed the last installment in the series, you can read about El Gato Coffee House here

I continue to be in awe of every cafe I visit. Each one brings me a new awareness of how dedicated the owners of the cafes are, and a greater appreciation of the hard work that happens behind the scenes. 

Today I'm happy to share a wonderful cafe with you, The Cat Parlour in Pawtucket, RI. 


cat cafe|the cat parlour



cat cafe|the cat parlour


I had remained undecided about visiting The Cat Parlour for several weeks. Since it was a pop up that was only open for a limited time, I didn’t really know what to expect, and I wanted to make sure it would be a successful visit after a four hour road trip. (I met my friend in CT, which is a two hour drive from me, and then we made another two hour drive to RI.) Both my friend and I were impressed with everything and we were very glad we went. As you read on you’ll see why.


cat cafe|the cat parlour


The Cat Parlour was brought to life by Angelika Pellegrino, an amazing young woman in her early 20’s. In 2016 Angelika became a cat lady overnight when she adopted her two cats. As she started to research “all things cats” she discovered a cat cafe was slated to open in Providence, but never did. She thought to herself “Why can’t I do that?", and her journey to open The Cat Parlour began. More about her journey in a bit.


cat cafe|the cat parlour

The Cat Parlour opened its doors on April 28, 2018 for a three month limited engagement in an artist’s loft in the historic Lorraine Mills in Pawtucket, RI. Upon walking in, you entered a large, bright and airy, open space...


cat cafe|the cat parlour

... with plenty of space for guests to play with the cats. 


cat cafe|the cat parlour

In addition to benches, there were lots of cushions that guests could use to sit on the floor and get down to the cats' level. Guests were able to enjoy free coffee and other beverages, as well as delicious pastries, brownies and donuts that were purchased from a nearby bakery. 


cat cafe|the cat parlour

On the day my friend and I visited, there were seven cats in house (three adults and four kittens.) Meet Bud.


cat cafe|the cat parlour

This little guy had a vivacious purrsonality, sweet disposition, and was full of spunk. It was amazing that someone hadn’t scooped him up already.  


cat cafe|the cat parlour

The kittens were still in the socialization process, and for a while felt safer underneath a chair. They eventually ventured out and enjoyed some play time. 


cat cafe|the cat parlour
Lavender


cat cafe|the cat parlour
Rocky


If the video doesn't play you can watch it on Youtube here

The process of opening the cafe was a lengthy one for Angelika. She signed the lease in May of 2017 and started the process of learning about zoning laws. She also began to contact rescues in an attempt to partner with them. Some were more receptive than others, and ultimately she partnered with Paws Watch for the kittens and Rhode Island SPCA for the adults. 


cat cafe|the cat parlour

Angelika, who graduated college in 2017 and likes "to do things people say I can't do", was excited to bring her passion project to the community. She decided on starting on a limited engagement basis to see how the community responded. (When I visited on June 30, 350 visitors had walked through the doors. I would say the community responded well!) She also wanted to evaluate the experience and try to form relationships with more rescues. 


cat cafe|the cat parlour

The space needed renovation before the cafe was able to open, and Angelika (who works full time for the Department of Labor) paid for everything herself. That's how dedicated she was to this project. She did a beautiful job creating a space that was peaceful and inviting for visitors and fun and safe for the cats. 


cat cafe|the cat parlour

This cat sized door leads to the back room where cats can use the powder room, or just take a break. It was also a popular place for play. 


cat cafe|the cat parlour

cat cafe|the cat parlour

cat cafe|the cat parlour

There were plenty of toys to keep both the two and four-legged occupied. 


cat cafe|the cat parlour

cat cafe|the cat parlour
A game of Cat-Opoly, anyone? 

 This is Peaches, (also known as Jenny). 


cat cafe|the cat parlour



Peaches/Jenny bonded with Snowball, also known as Forest. (Get it? Jenny and Forest?) 

cat cafe|the cat parlour



Jenny's favorite place was the cabinet. 

cat cafe|the cat parlour

Forest was trying to figure out why. 

cat cafe|the cat parlour

cat cafe|the cat parlour

I have some great news to share - Jenny and Forest were adopted together, and are enjoying their forever home! 

The Cat Parlour was very popular amongst college students, who would purchase a day pass and bring their laptops to study. The cafe ordered pizza, and a good time was had by all. (And hopefully, some studying got done as well!) The Felines and Finals events were so popular there was a waitlist. 

cat cafe|the cat parlour

Brown University was very supportive of the cafe and very involved in the student activities. The advertising was done through Facebook and by word of mouth, and the response was "amazing." 

Another "paw-pulor" event was Meowvie Night. Watching a good movie with some popcorn and a cat curled up in my lap sounds like a great night to me. 

This beautiful girl is Stella. When Stella was surrendered by her owner her fur was so matted she needed to be shaved. She was recovering from a bad upper respiratory infection when I was there, and was a little sneezy and stuffy. 

cat cafe|the cat parlour

A little URI didn't deter her new forever family from adopting her! 


Angelicka's greatest joy has been seeing cats go to their forever home. Hanging out with cats is her dream job. "It doesn't feel like a job when I'm here." 

cat cafe|the cat parlour

Angelika told me most of her friends have been really supportive of her work at the cafe. She said she did lose some in the process because of her time constraints, and she had pretty much given up her social life, but wouldn't trade it for anything. "Those who count, wait." 

cat cafe|the cat parlour

Angelicka says "If you have an idea, you have to follow it, even if it means taking a risk. This has been an amazing experience." And I think Angelika is an amazing person. She delved into The Cat Parlour with her whole heart, spent her own money, and helped a lot of cats - and people, too. She had a dream and wasn't afraid to follow it. 

My friend and I were so inspired by Angelika, and impressed with her determination and maturity. I hope she can continue her dream by opening the cafe permanently. 

cat cafe|the cat parlour
Pin Us! 

Stay tuned for the next installment in our Cat Cafe series as Lola The Rescued Cat goes on the road. The next cafe to be featured will be Tiny Lions Lounge and Adoption Center in Ann Arbor, MI. 

Have you ever been to a cat cafe? Tell us about your experiences! 

You may notice something a little different in this post. I used slide shows, and the images are a little smaller. Tell me what you think. 

Dawn

34 comments:

  1. That sure is a nice looking place, so neat and clean. Of course the kitties are totally adorable!

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  2. Wow, looks like a terrific place!

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  3. That looks like a lovely place. It is a pity that it is only there for a limited time.

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  4. Loved this post! I've never been to a cat cafe, none near me but I'm searching. I'd be happy to spend all day there just hanging out, and knowing cats are finding forever homes through these cafes is wonderful.

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  5. I'm really enjoying reading about the cat cafe's you've been going to! I think they are a marvellous idea to help out these kitties and give them a more comfortable environment to play and be themselves.

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  6. What a wonderful sounding place! We're glad you finally visited and thank you for sharing this with us!

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  7. Sounds like she has the spirit and the stamina to make it a year long and viable cat cafe. I love what she has done, and the cats looked so very happy. Heres to a successful future and many many happy adoptions.
    Toodle pips
    ERin

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  8. L & L....what an awesum cafe & 984 pawz UP two Angelicka....we hope her cafe can open like full time all de time two....what a reel lee soooper neet place...we like how de wee door entranze lookz like a piano :) best best fishez two all N happee gotcha day two thoze who finded ther for everz ~~~~ ☺☺♥♥

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  9. Wow, what a cool place! And right near a university, so students can get their cat mojo going! They need to have sleepovers too...

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  10. What a wonderful place ! And it looks very clean ! Pawsome cat café ! Purrs

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  11. The cats are so cute! I'd love to visit a place like this, since I love cats but can't own one myself because my fiance is allergic to them. I used to live right outside of RI, and still have a lot of family in the area. I'll have to keep this place in mind the next time I visit the area.

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  12. We love seeing all the different cat lounges. The Cat Parlour looks like a nice one.

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  13. I love these places and have visited the one in San Francisco. Now they need for other animals to help with rescues

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  14. What a wonderful place for cats! We love the happy endings too!

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  15. They are all so cute. We wish we could hug them all. They are having so much fun in a wonderful place. Love the kitty trying to get the mouse from under the door. Thanks for sharing. We really love this place. Have a great weekend.
    World of Animals

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  16. What an enchanting place! I love Angelicka's story, she certainly has passion and gumption. It's so great that students can buy a day pass and study there in the company of cats - that's so innovative! Thanks for sharing about this great kitty rescue.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  17. I want to go there. I think it would be about 90 minutes away. That looks like a great place.

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  18. I show a lot in RI. I will have to see if this awesome place is still around next time I go down. I would love to visit!

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  19. Lola, is it us or are the pictures tiny right now? Not a 'funny' question we want to know if we have issues at our end.

    We love your review!!

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  20. I can't tell you, though I have tried every time how much I am loving your presentations of these fabulous places!!! A lot of work on your part and a lot of reading and seeing pleasure for me.

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  21. Wow, wow, wow! What a dedicated young woman. I love this! What a great idea to do a test run to see how the reception in the community will be. And yay for Jenny and Forest being adopted!

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  22. Are there really more cat cafes than dog ones or do people just write about them less? Lovely places, though.

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  23. I love cat cafes. Our local one is simply wonderful! This looks totally perfect.

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  24. This is great! I luv all the pictures of the pussycats and the purr-ty spaces that Miss Angelique made for them. I sure hope she can keep the cat cafe long term! Mom and I don't know of any cat cafes where we live, but there is one about 2 hours away. Purr purr purr.

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  25. Looks like she did an awesome job with the space. Very inspiring to see a young graduate follow her dream and give back to animals in need. Sounds like it helped a lot of students too. Hope she can keep it going.

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  26. Angelicka is really amazing. I can imagine the obstacles she ran into and yet she made it happen. I really enjoyed reading about the Cat Parlour!

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  27. WOW! What an incredibly woman!! Very inspiring

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  28. Such a wonderful cat café. The story behind this cat café sounds very similar to the one that has open near us. I haven’t been there yet but have plans to go there in the near future. They have a lot of nights for college students to come, especially around exam time. Wish you could come to South Carolina and visit with me.

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  29. This looks like a wonderful cat cafe! I'm glad you decided to make the trip.

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  30. Great photos! I'm so impressed with someone so young having the ability to open this cat cafe! She's a real entrepreneur!

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  31. It's amazing how she set up the whole thing as a pop-up by herself! I hope she succeeds with her future endeavors.

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  32. We love these cafes and we hope this one can become permanent. We see so many doing great adoptions.

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  33. Nice pictures. Looks like a great pkace to visit

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  34. I just love these cat cafe visits of yours, and how each one is so unique! Peaches is just to die for!!!

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