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Cat Cafés Offer Coffee With a Side of Kitties by Samantha Drake

 This is a Reblog from

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Cat Cafés Offer Coffee With a Side of Kitties
Reblogged from

If cat lovers could design their own heaven it would mostly likely have a least one cat café—a quiet retreat where warm beverages and sweet treats are in plentiful supply and a variety of affectionate cats roam about, graciously accepting your attention.The cat café concept is a reality in many parts of the world. At these kitty havens, patrons can relax with a beverage and a snack while watching and interacting with the cat café’s feline residents. The concept is very popular in Asia and is catching on in Europe as well. CNN reports that Japan has approximately 150 cat cafes, more than anywhere else in the world.

Paris, London, Munich, Vienna, Budapest, Madrid, and Dubai also have their own cat cafes. Melbourne, Australia, is set to welcome its first cat café soon. And while the United States is lagging behind a bit, it could catch up to the cat café craze very soon.

Pop-Up Café

The first cat café in the United States was a limited venture that opened in New York in April. Sponsored by Purina One, the pop-up cat café was open for four days. It was intended to raise awareness about pet health and show people what healthy, happy cats look like, explains Niky Roberts, a spokesperson for Purina One.

The cat food company partnered with the North Shore Animal League America, a rescue group that provided 35 adoptable cats for visitors to meet and interact with at the café. The good news is that all 35 kitties have been adopted, either during or after the event, says Roberts. In addition to cappuccino and baked goods, the event featured speakers throughout the four days including a veterinarian, cat behaviorist and a pet shelter director.  “We had a great experience,” says Roberts.

Because the cat café was an event and not a long-term business, the biggest challenge for Purina One, notes Roberts, was working out the logistics of being the first in the U.S. to bring kitties and a café atmosphere together.

Long-term establishments for felines and those who love them may follow. In North America, the promise of cat cafes in cities including Boston and Toronto has generated a lot of press, but so far few are close to opening.

Vive Montreal

However, a Quebec cat lover is preparing to open Café Chat L’Heureux in Montreal as early as this summer. Clement Marty, the owner of Café Chat L’Heureux, says he became intrigued by the cat cafés he saw on his travels around the world. He decided to launch his own cat café in Montreal to educate the public on how to properly care for cats while providing a resource for cat lovers who can’t have a pet of their own. An Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is providing the start-up capital, says Marty.

The café will have eight to 12 cats in residence, an optimal number for the space that takes into account cats’ territorial needs, he explains. “The cats will come from different shelters in Montreal, with each one a sort of ambassador for the shelter,” says Marty.

Location, Location

In San Francisco, all software developer David Braginsky and entrepreneur Courtney Hatt need to do is find the right space for their cat café, to be called KitTea.

KitTea will be be a “cageless adoption center” where visitors can spend quality time with the resident cats and also have a cup of tea and something to eat, explains Braginsky. Local regulations require that the two functions be strictly separate, so the food prep area will be in a completely different space than the cats’ area, says Braginsky. Local cat shelters will provide adoptable cats with the right personalities for the environment.

“A cat café seems like a valuable thing to have in the city,” notes Braginsky. He expects a lot of interest in KitTea because San Francisco is home to lot of people who live in apartments that don’t allow pets or live with roommates who don’t want cats.

The real estate search has been difficult, Braginsky says, because he and Hatt want KitTea to be located in a neighborhood that caters to residents, not tourists. Rent and renovation costs are also important considerations. A crowdfunding campaign is powering the launch of KitTea, but private investors are also needed, he adds.

Britannia Rules

Braginsky says he was inspired by London’s very successful cat café Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, where kitties with names like Artemis and Carbonelle lounge around soaking up the attention. Lady Dinah’s is so popular that the establishment is booked solid through October 2014.

The British cat café set ground rules that eliminate many concerns surrounding a venture that combines cats and the public. First, Lady Dinah’s has a booking system that permits only a limited number of people in the space at one time. It also has a small cover charge. The establishment has banned children under the age of 8 to eliminate concerns about what very young children might do to the cats.

As for allergies, Lady Dinah’s states on its website that staff are able to provide only basic first-aid attention in the event of an allergic reaction.

The cat café phenomenon doesn’t appear to be slowing down, and it will be exciting to see where these fun feline locations open next.

Photo credit: Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium via Facebook


The Returns Are HAPPY!!!!



The Returns!
The Returns 2 ~ Showstoppers
The Returns 2 ~ Showstoppers

Review: The Returns 2 ~ Showstoppers

Click to purchase the book in Paper or Kindle!
You KNOW you want to! You NEED this book!

 The Returns 2 ~ Showstoppers has been published, and it is just as good as the first book! Hey, maybe even better, but then, since they are both so good anyway, does it matter?

 In The Returns, we met four people who made it to the Pearly Gates a little early, for one reason or the other. Maybe someone wasn’t paying attention?. Oops. A little trip to the “Early Returns” department and they are now back on Earth in new bodies. Four very furry, very four-footed bodies! Bentley, the basset hound who used to be an FBI agent, Pierre, now a West Highland White Terrier, a fashion designer and MIT graduate at age 16, Tucker, now a Golden but previously a Navy Seal, and finally Bones, former World Featherweight Boxing Champion and now a rough, tough Chihuahua and master mechanic. The Returns are guarded and guided by Faith Fullilove, their first-year Guardian Angel and her own Mentor Angel, Miss Gitty the gray tabby cat.

All four, with the addition of Bentley’s ex-partner in the FBI, Aiden, were involved in the takedown of a horrible bad-guy who was directly involved in the deaths of at least three of The Returns. Now, with Showstoppers, the team is back in action, using their skills and capabilities to track down and stop the theft of show dogs.

 From their home in New Orleans to Madison Square Garden, the team goes on a fun and brilliantly designed romp through the world of high-stakes dog shows. Again filled with fun, humour, excitement, and a brilliant insight into the minds and personality of dogs, this is definitely NOT a book to miss!

 Once again, the dog characterizations were spot-on. I could hear and see these guys in my head the whole time I was reading. And let me say again – if you love humor in your reading, this is perfect! Ah, the pictures in my head! If you are a dog lover, this is absolutely a book you should read. The characters of the dogs are perfect for their breeds, as well as for the personalities of the people they used to be. Well, I suppose they still are those people in their hearts and souls!

 Filled with humor, thoughtfulness, and love, this is a perfect book – as M. K. says, “for anyone from 12 to 112!”


Note:  I am the editor for both The Returns and The Returns 2 ~ Showstoppers. However, I wouldn’t have taken the editing if I didn’t truly believe in the books, and these are definitely two of my favorites of all the books that I have edited!

Woof! Woof! The Returns, Showstoppers is Coming!

The real, honest-to-goodness Bentley!
See the Badge Number 7 on his hip?
How cool is that?!

Agent Seven and The Returns are back in action!

I just got my copy for Beta Read of the second adventure of that awesome team, The Returns. I am only on page 30, and having an absolute blast.

If you will remember, I gave rave reviews to the first book of the series, “The Returns” and the second book is just as enjoyable so far. Bentley and his friends, Tucker the Golden Retriever, Pierre the West Highland White Terrier, and the totally awesome Bones, the toughest little Chihuahua around, have to find out who is stealing world-champion show dogs and help return them to their owners. This promises to be just as fast, fun and action filled as the first book, and well worth the read for anyone from a small child to anyone enjoying a fun read.

Aiden, the FBI agent who was Bentley’s partner before Bentley’s unfortunate early demise is back in action with the gang, as well as Faith, the boys Guardian Angel, and Miss Gitty, the gray tabby cat who is Faith’s mentor as a first-year Guardian Angel.

Keep an eye out for the publication date here on my site, or follow M. K. Clinton on Twitter.

Now, back to reading!

The Thing About Shelties. . .

maggie on fern island bridgemaggie at attention

Shetland Sheepdogs, or Shelties as they  as they are better known, are fascinating little dogs. As the AKC puts it, the Sheltie  “. . . is essentially a working Collie in miniature. A rough-coated, longhaired working dog, he is alert, intensely loyal and highly trainable and is known as a devoted, docile dog with a keen sense of intelligence and understanding. Agile and sturdy, the Sheltie is one of the most successful obedience breeds, but also excels in agility, herding and conformation. The coat can be black, blue merle or sable, marked with varying amounts of white and/or tan.”

The thing about Shelties is . . . They got HAIR, baby! Lots and lots and LOTS of hair!

Can we all say - "Groomer's delight"
Can we all say – “Groomer’s delight”

And, of course, when said Shelties live with you and sleep in your bed, they are often the quite begrudging recipients of baths. Oh, don’t get me wrong. They are never ill-tempered about it. It is more (HUGE sigh) . .  Awwwww, Mooooommmmmm… do we Gotta?!?!?!

Maggie and I in Wisconsin.
Maggie and I in Wisconsin.



Maggie had her bath this morning. She is getting quite up there in years, and isn’t always as continent as we either would like. She always knows when she needs her bath, and is never grumpy about it, but she is, shall we say, rather resigned to the situation. As you can see from her face:

Awww, man! Bath time again?!
Oh, OK, let’s get this done! But I get a cookie after!
This part really sucks. Anyone got a towel?
Can we please do this without getting soap in my eyes this time?!
Alright, I'm rinsed. Can I get out of here now??
Alright, I’m rinsed. Can I get out of here now??
I feel PRETTY!!!
Now for the best part! THE COOKIE!!!!
Now for the best part!

It is a beautiful morning

I love this time of year. It is warm, (finally) and the birds are back.It is still cool in the mornings, and the lilac bushes are starting to put out flowers. It is easy to get outside and walk, run, bike, climb. Whatever you feel like doing. The dogs are blowing their winter coats and spending more time

Maggie Brushed

outside. (This is Maggie AFTER brushing out….) Little did I know, when Maggie was no bigger than Lily’s head what I was getting into when it came to coats! Lily was the gentlest 105 pound white Boxer you could ever imagine – she raised Maggie from a  baby. My Lily Bell passed away from cancer when I was fighting my own cancer.


She was such a doll baby…. Boxers are wonderful. You will hear some people say that they can be mean, but I have never, in all the years I have been around them, known one that was rude. Of course, seeing as how my babies are all spoiled within an inch of their lives, I would imagine that has something to do with it! Oh, they are disciplined, but in a gentle and positive manner that gives me a friend that is loyal, loving, and cuddly, but scary as all get-out if you threaten me. I have never had one of my babies bite, but they sure will make you think they are going to kill you first and then eat the evidence! Lily was a Therapy Dog and loved to go to the retirement homes and visit with the people there. She was so tall, she could lay her head right in the lap of the wheelchair bound and they could stroke her silky head. She had the softest fur of any dog I have ever known.

Well, the sun is over the yardarm, the birds are all wide awake, and the squirrels are at the feeder, so I better get back to reading. I have a few books backed up to read for review, so you will be seeing more from me soon!

May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month

blue buffalo cancer awareness

And I didn’t even know it. I saw a banner ad today from Blue Buffalo, which says that they are for more information). 

My big-hearted Tolkein

Several years ago I lost my big blue lovebug, Tolkein, my Chow, to cancer. No matter that I gave them all their shots, fed them well, they got plenty of fresh air and exercise, they still got taken out by this horrible disease. He was with me for eighteen years, so we had a long run, but it was a horrible way to lose my poor baby. 

More recently, while I went through my own treatment for stage-three breast cancer, I also lost my beautiful Lily, a 105-lb white boxer, whom I adored.

The beautiful Lily Belle.
The beautiful Lily Belle.
Satie, with his best friend Charlie.
Satie, with his best friend Charlie.

To add to the pain, my gorgeous Satie, a Lilac Point Siamese, died from the same horrible disease. Lily passed in her sleep thanks to big doses of pain meds, but my wonderful veterinarian, Dr. Valori, from Table Mountain Veterinary Clinic, was kind enough to come out in the night and allow me to hold Satie while she took away his pain for the final time. I was at one of my own lowest points at that time, and Dr. Valori’s kindness was an incredible gift. (More about Charlie later, he has his own story.)

Please, help fight the horrible scourge of Cancer in our beloved friends and family members. Please visit the link above, or any reputable organization for more information. Also, don’t forget to check out  for this and other ways we can help our four legged friends. Thank you!

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