Happy Cat Café - Grand Rapids, Michigan

It was a cold, blustery day in the Mitten State when Bianca was driving north to the Atomic Tiki Bazaar art show in Grand Rapids from Indianapolis.  "I love cats" she thought as she gripped the steering wheel.  "I love cat cafes" and a smile spread across her face as she shifted her VW into sport mode and allowed her lead foot to snuggle up to the gas pedal.  It had been several months since Bianca had visited a new cat café and she was ready to add some new feline destinations to her list, so when her friends announced they'd be hosting a tiki art show in Grand Rapids, her first thought was "Rad!  I'll be there!" and her second was "There's a cat café in Grand Rapids and I must go."  So, she did.

Happy Cat Café has a concept I truly appreciate; a coffee shop side and a cat side.  This way, the cat café gets to benefit from cat lovers, coffee lovers, cat lovers who are allergic to cats or someone who fell in love with a cat lover who drags them to the cat café each month.  Win-win!  After ordering an iced Café con Miel latte (that's a yummy honey latte beverage from our Spanish friends), I entered into the cat café side and immediately fell in love with a little kitten named Saturn.  He was the newest kitten to arrive at the cat café to find his fur-ever home, which I don't think will take a cutie like him long to find.

Little Saturn stole my <3

The cat café side had a couple tables and chairs set up for you to relax in as well as benches that lined one of the walls with bright pink kitty cushions for your tush.  It sounds hard to believe, but Happy Cat Café did not smell like dirty litter boxes.  The litter boxes are hidden under the benches lining the wall, so that could have some influence over the clean smelling air.

The coffee shop side
The cat café side

I arrived in the afternoon which is prime nap time for cats, so some of the cats were snoozing and opted out of play time, but there were a couple other kitties (Saturn included) who were little fur balls of energy and only too enthusiastic to partake in some games.  For those kitties who were sleepy, the walls held transparent astronaut helmet-like dome homes for the cats to curl up in.  On one of the walls held a large screen TV which played bird TV, which is how city cats get their fill of the country life without leaving their view of the high rises.  It would have been nice if there was some light music playing inside because it was a little too quiet for me, but I doubt the cats were upset that Sufjan Stevens wasn't serenading them into cat dreamland.  Side note - Sufjan Stevens co-founded a record label called Asthmatic Kitty.  Full circle, guys... full circle.  

We had a staring contest and I'm sure you can guess who won


The astronaut helmet-like dome homes

Another aspect of Happy Cat Café that I truly appreciated was that they allowed you to pick up the cats; HOWEVER, you had to be sitting down.  The majority of cat cafés I've been to don't allow that or you have to be supervised by an employee when you're handling a kitty.  I totally understand why the "no pick up" rule is in place, but it's always refreshing to go to a cat café that allows you to have some fun with the cats who will allow it.

Alas, after 60 splendid minutes, my reservation was over and it was time to leave.  I gave Saturn one last little scratch on the head, told him to keep his chin up and to stay curious.

If you're in the Grand Rapids area, be sure to stop by Happy Cat Café for some kitty love.  These Mitten State cats are more satisfying than a Coney Island any day.  

<3 B

Me and Saturn

Happy Cat Café is located at 444 Division Avenue S., Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503.  Reservations are not required, but recommended.  www.happycatgr.com

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