Cat cafes are popping up in every single place lately — however how do you go about making your kitties-and-coffee enterprise stand out from remainder of the clowder? Within the case of The Catcade, which opened in Chicago in 2017, you add a bunch of classic arcade video games to the combination.
The brainchild of Shelly Casey and Christopher Gutierrez, The Catcade got here to fruition after they visited different cat cafes across the nation and have become impressed to debut one in Chicago. Christopher says they at all times needed so as to add a rescue factor to their cat cafe and determined to focus on high-risk kill shelters in each Chicago and southeast Kentucky, with the purpose of transporting cats going through a loss of life row state of affairs to the protected haven of The Catcade. As Christopher additionally has a aspect pastime rebuilding and restoring retro online game cupboards, they determined to combine that into the design of the area. Inside The Catcade you’ll discover 5 multi-play stations internet hosting throwback video games like Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man and The Simpsons, video game-themed decor like a rug usual after an Eight-bit Nintendo joypad controller, plus a number of outdated cupboards repurposed into carpeted cat snoozing stations.
Naturally, the resident felines at The Catcade have taken to claiming the online game rigs in their very own finicky vogue. “They deal with them like cat bushes,” Christopher says. “They climb up, in and round them. Often, you’ll discover them sitting down on the [horizontal] cocktail video games as a result of the screens are heat, particularly throughout the winter.”
The concept of satiating your retro gaming kicks by enjoying a number of rounds of Defender whereas supported by a group of cats would possibly sound enjoyable and fantastical, however there’s additionally a critical aspect to The Catcade that comes from Christopher and Shelly’s choice to assist felines prone to euthanasia. This implies the cats they absorb usually include medical or character points on account of abuse they’ve suffered prior to now. When The Catcade opened with a bunch of 10 cats, considered one of them named Bruno took over 4 months to seek out his perpetually dwelling on account of his shyness and nervousness. However as soon as Bruno was lastly adopted, Chris says, “It’s been superb to get updates from his adopter on how he’s blossoming and so completely happy.”
In a extra heartbreaking case, a 9-year-old senior feline was found by animal care and management wandering the streets in an emaciated situation. He was rescued by The Catcade, however sadly “ended up with kidney failure from years of neglect and handed whereas with us.” Regardless of the luminous glow from the arcade sport screens lighting up The Catcade, that is the darker factor concerned in cat rescue and rehabilitation. However as Christopher says, it’s at all times vital to maintain the religion: “We all know we will’t do something to alter a cat’s historical past, however we may give them the very best likelihood at a greater future.” For extra info, go to thecatcade.org.
Thumbnail: Images by: ©Mandy Dempsey Images
In regards to the creator:
Phillip Mlynar spends his days writing about cats, hip-hop and meals, usually whereas being pestered by his rescue, a mackerel tabby named Mimosa. His work seems in Vice, Pitchfork, Pink Bull, Bandcamp, VinePair and Catster. He’s gained varied awards on the Cat Writers’ Affiliation Communication Contests, a few of that are proudly on show at his native dive bar in New York Metropolis.
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