Wednesday, April 11, 2018

​CatCafe Lounge Is Purr-fect, Oh, We Went With A Cat Pun

by Jonathan Bilski

Up the stairs following the cat paw prints we soon found ourselves surrounded by the most fearsome of foes...sleeping kitty cats. My god, [takes off glasses] they were all around us, sleeping, hidden and sleeping, perhaps waking up only to slightly open their eyes and immedialety go back to sleep. The horror, the horror!

It was so darn relaxed in the ​CatCafe Lounge, by the cats, my thought upon leaving was coming back and chilling with my Nintendo Switch. That, and how wonderful they're that leave lint rollers for you to get all the cat hair off before you go.

Nestled just off the 405 and Santa Monica Blvd is a wonderful place to sip some tea or coffee and chill with some kitties. It is exactly as it sounds, just like one of those videos on YouTube from Japan, it's a real cat cafe filled with cats. These mouse eaters will come up to you, let them pet you, one even came into our laps. Cappie, we love you.

Any sort of bias about fussy cats was not apparent as every cat was letting us pet them even while they slept. You'll feel a tinge of excitement upon entry just seeing all the cats. You'll just want to start playing with them or petting them. It's some sort of biological need that are primitive lizard part of brain needs to pet the kitties.

If their active, which took a while, guess why? They're cats. Then you'll just want to sit down and starting petting cats.

Some of these cats our out of reach as there is a faux tree they love climb and sleep on in the center lounge. So grab a chair or bean bag or seat on the couch and have some cats come up to you or just be hidden out of sight underneath you.

There's about 30-35 cats on the floor if not going through the holes in the wall to rest away from people or use the litter box. If you're wondering if it smelled with so many cats, it did not, something that surprised us, but shows how well the CatCafe was made and run all while being a non-profit.

It's only about two months old, but it's already becoming a destination for cat lovers or anyone who can't have any cats at their place. Kristi Labrenz Galvan, founder and executive director, met with us as she ran the cafe with her staff and husband. "Everyone is adoptable," she told us. And on that day it seemed like two got adopted when we went. There's no pressure, and I mean they don't bother you with it, but if you start falling for a cat there, you can give it a permanent home.

Kristi wanted to remind readers that they should always reserve as only 15 people are allowed in at a time and sessions last for an hour. So, why go through all the trouble of coming offthe 405 and be stuck waiting on cats. You aren't that far from Sawtelle, so you could grab some food, but why not plan on that after visiting the cats.

You also get coffee or tea with your reservation at $25. Kristi told me, as she is vegan and we have quite a big community of vegans, that almost the entire menu is vegan, except maybe one item. There's no preparing of food there, you can bring something inside to eat, but remember cats might want some if it's made of meat.

Cats and Comedy recently happened there, a comedy show where comedians told some jokes just surrounded by cats. They didn't do any jokes on cats, just regular routines, so don't go hoping for some comedic jokes about cats complaining about the price of tuna.

There is also Paws yoga, which happens on Mondays, where you just do yoga around cats. In the future, Kristi was hoping for a poker night and perhaps some painting sessions.

When I asked Krisit what she most wanted to tell me about the CatCafe Lounge, it wasn't about the space or how long it took to make with hard laws about animals being around food and drink in place, it was that it's non-profit just looking to make homes for cats and make the world a better place for our feline friends. And once again, this is not overly brought up to you like The Gentle Barn, which we hated as a place of animal hanging out.

What we saw when we visited wasn't a preachy staff, we saw a staff that both helped those visiting the cafe and the cats, taking them back if they were being fussy or maybe needed a nap away from people or to be cleaned or taken care of. The latter part was still about cats, no people are put away to take naps. You might fall asleep though surrounded by so many balls of fur.

As groups of visitors moved in and out as we stayed with the cats we saw them sleep through one session and come to life in another as they jumped above us on all the provided ledges, burst out of underneath where were seating or had fun with some string jumping high into the air.

Photos are very much allowed and you can take a lot of photos without realizing it. When there's so many cats around you, it's hard not to. Check out CatCafe's Instagram for just a little idea of what photos you can take.

We really found it to be a very fun evening on the weekend when we visited of just relaxing with some cats. The other TTDILA staff present is a dog person and even he was blown away by how nice it was. Truly, it is a place where you'll be forced to go to by your daughter or girlfriend and still enjoy it.

CatCafe Lounge
1736 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025
(Last reserved seating is at 7pm)
Monday 11am - 8pm
Tuesday - CLOSED
Wednesday - 11am - 8pm
Thursday - 11am - 8pm
Friday - 11am - 8pm
Saturday - 11am - 8pm
Sunday - 11am - 8pm
60 mins Lounge Session$25 
"Access to our upstairs Catopia is via the metal gate in the center of the building (facing Sepulveda).
Our building does not have an elevator. We will do our best to accommodate everyone."