HOUSTON - “I’ve had cats, oh gosh, long time. Ten years,” says David Berthold.
This is David's first visit to El Gato, the only cat cafe in the city of Houston.
“We just got comfortable and then they got comfortable. Started sitting in our laps, hanging out, and it’s been really relaxing,” Berthold said.
“We call it cat therapy. Cats have known benefits of lowering blood pressure and so reducing stress levels and our customers see that firsthand whenever they come to visit us,” Renee Reed said.
It exists thanks to Reed and her Kickstarter supporters. Like many of her customers, when Reed first heard about cat cafes the excitement swelled.
“Your mind’s kind of blown. You Google, you find out if you have one in your city and I saw that we hadn’t so I knew there was a need for it,” Reed said.
“I thought we would just come, have a cup of coffee and there would be cats running around. So I didn’t realize it was as interactive and playful as it is,” Berthold said.
But El Gato is more than just spending time with kitties. It's about getting those felines out of foster care.
“The upmost mission is adopting cats, finding forever homes. Specifically, we like to focus on older cats that can get overlooked in the shelters,” Reed said.
Though the business has only been open since May, they've already helped 18 cats be adopted from the Houston Humane Society.
“Even if you’re not a cat person, we love changing peoples’ minds about cats ... and while you’re here maybe you adopt your next cat,” Reed said.
“There’s probably two I want to take home right now," Berthold said.
El Gato is located at 508 Pecore St., Suite A.
Its hours are:
- Monday - Closed
- Tuesday - 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.
- Wednesday - 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.
- Thursday - 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
- Friday - 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.
- Saturday - 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.
- Sunday - 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Reservations are encouraged to visit with the cats, and required for their additional activities such as yoga, arts and crafts, Saturday morning cartoons and movie nights.
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