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‘Puspins’ main attractions in cat cafe

By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 12:26 AM June 14, 2015
Cat Cafe Manila provides an environment (top) where animal lovers can interact with its feline residents like (from left) Shelly, Oreo and Bicco. PHOTOS BY JAYMEE T. GAMIL

Cat Cafe Manila provides an environment where animal lovers can interact with its feline residents. PHOTOS BY JAYMEE T. GAMIL

Thinking of adopting a cat? Why not have a cup of coffee and some pastries as you’re making up your mind?

At Cat Cafe Manila, prospective pet owners can do just that. The establishment at 189 Maginhawa St. in Sikatuna Village, Quezon City, was opened for the purpose of showcasing rescued stray cats in the hopes of finding them forever homes.

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The concept of pet cafes, though not unusual in other countries like Japan where Cat Cafe Manila owners got the idea, is just starting to take root in the Philippines. These cafes offer animal lovers a venue for interacting with dogs or cats, usually of varying breeds.

Cat Cafe Manila, however, stands out because it showcases “puspins” (pusang Pinoy) who are all up for adoption.

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Founded by Anna Calvo and Denis Ty, the establishment aims to “educate people and let them know that puspins are beautiful creatures,” Ty told the Inquirer recently.

“Strays, if you take care of them, can actually be wonderful pets,” he added.

“We want to provide a place where cat lovers can converge and share their stories. We want to spread the love for animals, raise awareness about strays and find homes for rescued cats,” Ty said.

The quaint, homey cafe currently has 14 puspins—all rescued, vaccinated and spayed/neutered by Compassion and Responsibility for Animals (Cara) Welfare Philippines, a group of dedicated animal lovers, which has partnered with the cafe owners on the cats’ upkeep.

The cats’ names—displayed on tags attached to their collars usually give an insight into their origin, personality or identifying features: “Basu” was rescued from the “basurahan” (trash can); “Mama Cat” tended to stray kittens under Cara’s care while “Ling-Ling” is cross-eyed or “duling.”

The cafe has a door charge of P200, half of which is consumable (the establishment serves coffee, juices and pastries) while the rest goes to the cats’ upkeep.

The price has apparently not deterred customers. Since its soft opening in April, the cafe has seen a regular stream of patrons, most of whom are animal lovers, who heard about it through social networking site Facebook.

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The cafe cats can usually be found comfortably lounging around the cafe. Most of them have no problems cozying up to customers or playing with them.

Ty asks only that patrons follow the house rules posted conspicuously near the cafe entrance, especially on handling the cats, to ensure their and the guests’ safety.

A “cat ambassador” and volunteer staffers are also there at all times to attend to both visitors and felines.

Any patron interested in adopting a cat at the cafe will be given an application form for endorsement to Cara which is in charge of the screening process. This includes a house visit, an interview and upon approval, the collection of a processing fee of P800.

So far, around five customers have expressed interest in adopting some of the cafe’s cats. “Our measure of success will be how many cats we can help get adopted; how many cats we can find homes for,” Ty said.

(For cafe reservations and inquiries, go to Cat Cafe Manila’s Facebook page).

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TAGS: Animals, Cat Cafe Manila, cats, Compassion and Responsibility for Animals, Maginhawa, pets, pusang Pinoy, puspins, Quezon City
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