Author: Kaleb Johnson | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2022-23
Estimated Reading Time: 2 min.
The students in the Living Education program had a lot going on over Labor day weekend.
There was a drive-in movie night on Saturday night and a black and white movie night on Sunday night. By the time Monday came around, one might think that we had run out of activities to do. Yet We most certainly had not. One of the students had the grand idea to go visit a Cat Cafe.
A Day in a Cat Cafe
Cat cafes are little coffee shops that have a lounge area for cats. People can come in and look at cats while enjoying beverages. Most often, these are used to help adopt-out kittens and young cats that are sociable and well-trained. And they raise awareness for a particular shelter that is associated with the cafe. They have become fairly popular in cities these days, and the LivingEd students wanted to see what they were like. We had reserved an hour for just our group at a cat cafe downtown, so we piled into our cars and drove into Charlotte.
We arrived in the Arts and Entertainment District in Charlotte, NoDa, where the cat cafe is located. It was a short walk from a parking lot to the story-two building that houses the cafe. We entered the building and walked up the stairs to the second floor. The door to the Mac Tabby cat cafe was a modern design with glass and etchings, yet it congealed well with the older building. After we all plodded through the door into the cafe, we glanced over at the cat lounge, which was separated by a glass wall, and we saw about 8 cats either strolling or strewn about the room. After we made our way through a glass door into the domain of the cats, I made my way to an oddly shaped chair that resembled an egg with a collapsed top portion, a rather contemporary design. The room was kept at a brisk 45 degrees (or so it felt to me) for reasons I can only speculate on now. Perhaps it is better for the cats at that temperature with all their fur and whatnot. Maybe it makes the cats more sociable. Maybe they turned the air conditioning way down just to see what visitors would do.
Cats! (not the musical)
The cats never swarmed us nor overpowered us with affection. Rather they reflected our own energy level, mildly exhausted and desiring sufficient time to warm-up to an environment rather than just jump in. Gradually, the cats condescended to become acquainted with us. One decided to take up camp on my lap, which was rather convenient as we were not allowed to pick them up, and I was cold. I sat and sipped my drink, quietly taking in the environment.
The cats were given quite adorable names like: Kevin, Babe (as it was the youngest), and Ulf Ekberg, my personal favorite. Then, there was the cat named Jem. This black cat just sat in his bed, located on top of a cat tower, and slept the entire time we were there. He poked his head up a few times and seemed to enjoy being pet, or at least did not actively hate it. Yet, he never moved from his cozy bed and slept the vast majority of the hour we were there. On the other end of the energy spectrum, there was the rambunctious adolescent cat, Babe, who played vigorously with all the toys that were spread out around the lounge. The staff at the cafe gave us a laser pointer. Then we took turns seeing if we could get Babe to jump on people by pointing the laser at them. It worked quite successfully on multiple occasions.
Never a Dull Day
When our hour was up, we all said goodbye to our newfound feline friends and made our way out. Overall, it was a great trip, one that illustrates one aspect of the living Education experience: you are always up to something. This was not an activity planned by the Living Education program, but something the students in Living Education decided to do on our own initiative. Truly, there is never a dull moment at Living Education – Charlotte.