By Oliver Clarke
After overcoming a cancer diagnosis, Jessica Brandon traveled through Europe, where she stumbled upon her first cat café in Scotland. She was immediately taken by the idea, having always dreamed of having a job that allowed her to have her pets nearby. There were some challenges; she was entirely new to the business, and so was the city of Buffalo. Jessica did extensive research, learning from cat café owners around the world. The city, meanwhile, had to figure out what kind of permits were needed for such a unique operation. However, she has achieved her dream, and now Purrfect Café is open for business at 1507 and 1509 Hertel Avenue!
Purrfect Café is a haven for social kitties and cat-lovers alike. The atmosphere is bright and fresh, filled with places for both humans and felines to lounge and play. Jessica herself made the hammocks and climbing spots on the walls for the cats to explore. Some of the cats are her own rescues, but many are provided by the Ten Lives Club, carefully selected for their friendly dispositions towards strangers and other cats. Any cat or kitten with a paper collar is adoptable, and indeed, since the café opened on August 18th, they’ve already had one adoption, and have another in the works. The café is not, however, primarily an adoption center; it’s a place to enjoy furry companionship without the pressure to choose one like there would be at a shelter.
“Café” does not fully describe the business, as in about two months, 1509 Hertel will open as a full-service restaurant, with options catering to vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets, and an alcohol license. Customers can order from either side, pop through the adjoining door to pick up their food from the restaurant side, and enjoy their meal alone, or on the cat side with a whiskered feline. Additionally, Purrfect Café has just started hosting Children’s Storybook Hour, where small children—usually banned in the café—can learn how to safely handle cats, and can listen to a story. Soon, they will have kitty yoga and kitty craft nights. After another year or so, Jessica aims to open a second location, ideally in the Southtowns. With how positive the response from the community has been, this does not seem out of reach.
It’s impossible not to fall in love after stepping through the door. Each café’s dozen cats enjoys attention, and the charismatic kitten Lucy Lee is especially fond of falling asleep in someone’s arms. Meanwhile, young brothers Malfoy and Muggle are a bit more on the playful side, and there are plenty of toys around to help entertain them.
If you’ve had a stressful week, do yourself a favor and head to Purrfect Café’s website or Facebook page to make a reservation, or just walk in.