Jennifer Thompson cuddles with Michael, one of the cats available for affection and adoption, at Cassie’s Cats.
by Jill Forman
“I’m here to hang out with kitties!” says the excited visitor as she comes into Cassie’s Cats Lounge and Adoption Center. Four friendly felines stroll around, doze, and occasionally jump unexpectedly into waiting laps. Comfortable furniture, for both humans and cats, is spread out in the large, open room in Midtown.
It is a place to hang out, relax, de-stress, with the aid of cats. Cuddling with a pet has been shown to have all sorts of beneficial effects on physical and mental health; a “kitty fix.”
“It’s a dream come true” for Jennifer Thompson, who founded Cassie’s Cats and opened the Lounge last month. She first saw a similar setting in Santa Barbara, and went in “…because I love cats.” With the help of her family, volunteers and community members she has been able to fundraise and get through the process of becoming a 501(c)3, renting the space, and equipping it. She has also kept an active social media presence on Facebook and Instagram.
On entering the storefront, there is a front area, with gifts for people and animals for sale: t-shirts, tote bags, car toys, pouches, earrings, quilted kitchen items, masks and lots more. The majority of the sewn items were made by Jennifer and her mother. (Free to come in and shop.)
The cats are all rescues and are available for adoption, but there is no pressure to do so. In fact, pressure of any kind is the opposite of what the Lounge is for. They come from many rescue organizations who are delighted to have another avenue to give cats a good home.
Volunteers will be essential to keeping the Lounge staffed. There is a volunteer orientation on June 19. Anyone interested can contact Thompson at the email or phone that will be at the end of this article
To hang out and cuddle with a cat, the prices are $8 for 30 minutes, and $14 for a full hour. Reservations are encouraged, though walk-ins will be welcome if there are fewer than three folks enjoying the kitties at the time. Days will be Thursday-Sunday, 11-5.
To visit, donate, volunteer or any questions:
Cassie’s Cats, 1744 E. Main St. (805) 232-4228