I heard about Cat Cafes sometimes in the last year or so and have really been wanting to go to one. I knew that there were some in the Seattle area, but for some reason hadn’t made specific plans to go. Still, though, I thought that the idea of going to one sounded great.
A couple of weeks ago, an animal shelter event (rummage sale) showed up on my Facebook feed. I checked it out and it was a rummage sale for Kitty Korner Cat Rescue and Lounge in Edmonds, Washington. It was happening on both days this previous weekend. I wanted to go right away, and assumed that we would make it out there on Sunday, as we had chores to do on Saturday, including a blood draw for me, which I hate.
David took me to get the blood draw at about 11:00 Saturday morning. I was very tired and in a bad mood so it was not a lot of fun. After that, though, even though I was tired, I decided that I wanted to go to the Rummage Sale and cafe that day. I just wasn’t sure if I would enjoy myself because I was so tired.
It was about a half hour drive to Edmonds with traffic from where we were at. By the time that we got there, I really had to use the bathroom. Now, I have an auto-immune disease of the bladder, so when I really have to use the bathroom, experience a lot of pain and discomfort. By the time that we reached Kitty Korner at noon, I was already to that point, which makes sense because I drank a bunch of water that morning in order to make the blood draw easier for me and the technician (which did work by the way).
We pulled into a shopping center and saw the outdoor Rummage sale, but did not see where the cafe was. So, I walked up to the people who appeared to be running the sale and asked about it. They said the the Cafe opens at noon and they weren’t sure if it was ready yet. I told them my situation, which is that I have a bladder disorder and really have to use the bathroom. They said that if the cafe wasn’t open yet that there was a restaurant next to the booths that had a public restroom.
This scenario, though, is always really embarrassing to me. I have found that when I’m in this situation that it is important for me to let people know what I am dealing with because they will tend to make exceptions for me (interstitial cystitis, this health condition, is technically a disability). Still, by the time that I get to this point I’m usually obviously crabby and can’t always be very nice because I’m in pain. Usually as soon as I do use the bathroom, I go back to my normal pleasant self right away.
But, my bladder issues have resulted in me just having to use the bathroom wherever I can when I’m out of the house. I’ve found that big cities like Seattle and Vancouver B.C. are definitely places where I can have a hard time because there aren’t as many public restrooms in the form of gas stations and grocery stores as there are in smaller cities and towns. Another issue with cities is that if you drive into them to try to find a bathroom,you have to find a place to park which can take time, and maybe find a mall or tourist attraction that has public bathrooms, which can be hard to find. And you have to drive through busy and confusing streets. The time consuming nature of this makes these areas a poor choice for me when I have to find a bathroom. Because of this I have scoped out the best gas stations to use on the I-5 Corrider in terms of the quality and ease of finding a bathroom (I did this years ago because my bladder issues started back in high school).
Anyways, I found myself in that same mortifying place on Saturday, which sunk my mood even lower. But, David and I went to see if the Cat Cafe was open, and luckily it was. There was a sign up sheet at the front, and we had to pay $8 a piece to go into the cafe. I sort of rushed us through this process so that I could get to a bathroom. But, when I walked into the cafe and saw all of the beautiful cats, my mood turned immediately even though my bladder still was causing me pain and discomfort.
There were all types of beautiful and even exotic cats at this shelter. The first one that I noticed was a beautiful Bengal cat. Now, if you don’t know what a Bengal is, you are definitely missing out. A Bengal is a cat that is a mix between a domestic cat, usually the Egyptian Mau, and a wildcat, the Asian Leopard Cat. Bengals have a really distinct look: they have spots, and sometimes their coats can be silver (like Patrick’s), or sort of a shiny charcoal and almost reddish color. Because they are bred from a wild cat, they tend to be a little different from other domesticated cats. Bengals are sometimes said to be dog-like, in that they do well on leashes, like to play fetch, and some can train pretty well in comparison to the typical house cat. They also tend to love water. But, they have their difficulties too, and this can result in them ending up in shelters because owners do not know what they are getting into with the Bengal breed. I’ve heard that they can be very curious and energetic cats, and they need more stimulation and play time than other cats do. Also, they are very vocal, and when you mix this with an active, intelligent cat, some owners may find this to not be very bearable, although others might love it. I’ve talked to a few owners, too, who say that their Bengals have a tendency to run away and get lost, or try to get out of the house if they are indoor only, because of their curious nature. From what I understand, the Bengal is not for everyone, but they are so beautiful that owners seek them out without fully understanding the fact that caring for their needs might be more work than they realize. This is similar across different types of hybrids.
I love Bengals, and part of the reason why is that Patrick and Lucy could be part Bengal or Egyptian Mau. They show a lot of the signs that they are a mix of one of these breeds, especially Patrick, who is silver and has spots. And, even though Lucy looks like a typical tabby, he also has spots on him and is an interesting color brown, similar to some Bengals and Egyptian Maus. They also are very talkative, energetic, and train very well. But, they are definitely not full Egyptian Maus or Bengals, which is why I usually refer to Patrick as a silver tabby and Lucy as a charcoal tabby.
The reason, then, why I know so much about Bengals is that I’ve attempted to learn about them simply because I was curious to find out what breeds Patrick and Lucy could be. It’s been interesting to learn about exotic cat breeds, and I really think that they are magnificent not just for their coloring but because they are such interesting cats. So, when I saw that there was a Bengal at the Cat Lounge/Cafe, my eyes lit right up and my mood changed quite quickly.
I looked around to find at least a dozen cats of all different types in a large room filled with cat trees, bed, and sofas that you can sit on with the cats. It was great. But, I still had to use the bathroom, so I did, and when I came out there was an all-black cat waiting for me. It was very cute!
David and I petted some of the cats there. The Bengal seemed to really like David, and a tabby crawled up and sat on his shoulders. I petted these cats, and then started to look around at the others.
There were about four or five orange cats, which was nice for us to see because our orange cat Marmalade passed away about a year ago. All of the orange cats but one were boys. We went up to the orange female cat, and she came right up to David and I. The staff were surprised by this, and told us that she normally does not come up to anyone. A staff member went on to tell us that her name was Ruby, and that they did not know how old she is, and that she is adoptable. This caught my attention right away though because my favorite animal growing up was a dog named Ruby.
The story of Ruby is that she was a black lab who belonged to a neighbor who lived down the street from us, and was a hunting dog. She was what is considered an “outdoor dog”, as her owners for some reason did not want her in the house. So, they constructed a very nice outdoor enclosure for her that had a heated area in the back. They tended to hire neighborhood kids to help care for her and walk her. Even as a child, though, my stomach turned because of this situation. It seemed to me that the owners did not want her as a pet at all, only as a hunting dog.
They also had a dog named Rosy before they had Ruby who was also a hunting dog, and who they just let roam the street. She was very sweet, and I was sad when she passed away. I was very excited though when they adopted a puppy named Ruby. Both of these dogs too were black labs, which was one of my favorite types of dogs.
I took care of Ruby and was paid to do so when the owners were out of town or needed a hand. I walked her for free though, which was good for both me and her because during the time that I did this, I was pretty depressed due to issues at home and with other girls at school. Due to bullying, I was very lonely in the sixth grade in particular, and considered Ruby my best friend. I would take her on long walks and cuddle with her whenever we took a break. She really was the best friend that a girl could have.
As I got older, though, and busier with school and the activities that my parents made me participate in, I stopped spending time with her. This is something that I really regret as an adult, but at the time I was a teenager and was trying to find myself among my peers. When I was 17, though, Ruby was accidentally shot in a hunting accident. I don’t think that she was more than 6 or 7 years old.
Not spending more time with her is one of my big regrets of my childhood. I know now that she needed more attention than she was getting, but as a teenager, even though I knew that the owners were not doing the best with her, I didn’t fully understand this. I actually am not quite sure why I stopped spending time with her. I do know that my parents were constantly putting me or restriction if I basically wasn’t a perfect kid, so that might have played a big part in it. I remember that I was basically on restriction, or grounded, for most of my 7th grade years (it didn’t take much for my parents to do this. They are very perfectionist). I wonder if after a year of restrictions and yelling, I just got out of the habit of walking and seeing Ruby.
So when I met a female adoptable cat named Ruby who is an orange cat my heart just melted. Also, her orange coloring was a bit different than most orange cats, where it was a little almost brownish, sort of like the color of some mountain lions, versus the bright orange color of most orange cats. She was very beautiful, and seemed to like both David and I. But, as much as I would have loved to take her home, I know that we do not need more cats.
After meeting Ruby, another female cat who usually does not socialize much with people also came up to see us. This cat’s name is Lucy, and the staff warned us that she was feisty before we even walked into the cat area. We both petted her anyways, and she did jump up and bat at my hands while I was petting her. I guess that this particular behavior is why the staff consider her feisty, and because of it they are having a hard time adopting her. But, compared to Patrick and Lucy, who have a tendency to bite, swat, and scratch when either they want attention or need space, her swat really was nothing and was quite gentle compared to my male cats’ behaviors. So to me, I found it weird that people didn’t want to adopt a cat based on this behavior.
The staff told me that Lucy had been with them for about a year, and before that she was badly abused. They did not go into detail about the abuse, but did say that they have been working to rehabilitate and re-socialize her, and that this is going well. She would do best as the only cat in a household, though, because she can get scared and somewhat aggressive.
I also asked about the black cat who met me at the bathroom door. Right after I petted her, she scampered away out of sight to a back room. A staff member told me that she is 11 or 12 and is the oldest cat there. I could definitely tell that she was a senior cat just by looking at her, but she was still quite cute.
There were also some kittens at the shelter, and all but one were sleeping. A young girl was holding the kitten that was awake, and even though I love kittens, I didn’t want to disturb this girl’s obvious love an adoration for this kitten, so we didn’t get to pet a kitten this time around. Overall we had a very good time visiting with and learning about these cats. I find it interesting that the shyest, oldest, and cats with the most issues were the ones that seemed to bond the most with me. This, though, is not really surprising because throughout my life it seems like anyone with difficulties, cats, dogs, humans, tend to be drawn to me. And, historically I have always welcomed these people and/or animals into my life. But, eventually I have learned that it is not always wise to get to know or let in certain people into my life, because some people with “difficulties” can be extremely abusive. I have learned not open up my big heart all of the time with, then, with other people, but I still definitely do with animals.
After our visit with the cats, we headed out to the Rummage Sale to look around. There were lots of cat themed everything, including a bunch of cat knick-knacks and figurines, some of which were decorations for different holidays. A few caught my eye right away, particularly the Christmas cat figurines (I love decorating for Christmas!) So, we asked for a box to put a few in and asked how much they cost. The woman in charge told us that these figurines do not sell well and gave us a deal where we could fill a box full of them for a low price.
I, of course, thought that this was absolutely great and filled the box mostly with Holiday type cat figurines. I also got a larger Christmas Cat Display and a Laurel Burch Mug (I love her stuff). This was all very exciting for me, and I donated a few extra dollars to the rescue. The whole experience really made my day.
Visiting the Kitty Korner rescue and Rummage Sale was a great experience for me. It really lifted my mood all day, even though I was really exhausted afterward. And, now we know of a place that we can visit if we ever decide to adopt another cat.
If you haven’t checked out a cat cafe and are a cat lover, I suggest that you do so. They really are great, and the cats there seem happy to get attention from the people who visit. I wish that the practice of this type of shelter was more widespread than it is now, though. It really seems to be an effective way to care for an adopt out shelter cats.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below.