The Strathmore Municipal Library and the Happy Cat Sanctuary teamed up last November to host Strathmore's first ever cat cafe, and the event went so well that they're bringing it back on January 21! It will run from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Assistant Director of Library Services Carmen Erison explained one of the main reasons they host the cat cafe is to create a fun and friendly community atmosphere.
"It's really honestly about providing a a warm, welcoming experience for people who are looking to possibly adopt a cat or just want a little bit of kitty love. It was a great opportunity for cat lovers to be able to come out and meet other people who share a similar interest," she said.
Beyond the obvious draw of having fun with cats and cat lovers, Erison added mental health is a big component as well. The cat cafe is actually funded by the rural mental health project grant, which allows the library to buy food and drinks.
"There's a lot of research out there that talks about animals and mental health and how just even being around animals can really calm a person."
While the enjoyment of the cafe and the positive mental health benefits are undoubtedly huge aspects, Erison explained the real benefit goes to the Happy Cat Sanctuary, who could always use some help and hope to get more cats adopted to loving families. At the cafe you can speak with the Happy Cat Sanctuary about adopting a cat or fostering a cat. If you want to support the sanctuary but aren't able to take on the responsibility of caring for a cat, you can also donate or potentially become a volunteer as well.
"I feel that if we helped just one cat find a home, then we have achieved our goals. We've benefited that animal's life, that family's life," Erison said.
If all goes well, this won't be the last cat cafe either, as Erison hopes to bring it back one more time before March. The rural mental health project grant runs out at the end of March, so Erison is planning to make full use of it before then.
For more information about adoption, volunteering, and donating visit Happy Cat Sanctuary at www.happycatsanctuary.net.
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