Mumbai Memoir- ‘Cat walk’ at Mumbai’s Cat Café Studio!
Cats had been a part of my life until year 2001. My childhood memories are flooded with me and my brother playing with cats. We use to fight on ‘who gets to hold the cat’ first!! The soft furry feel of a cat cuddled in my arms, the blinking of their eyes from time to time, and its meowing always generates a calming effect on me. The last cat that we had as a pet was a jet-black cat with light green eyes! The elegance with which she performed her ‘cat walk’ was a visual treat and the kind of luxurious life she lived with us for 13 long years would generate envy in many minds.
For cat lovers like me, its heartening to know that Cat Café Studio located at Versova in North Mumbai is a ‘cat theme’ cafeteria with a cause. I noticed that, if one visits the Cat Café Studio (CCS) for the very first time then an attendant receives you and informs you of the formalities. We are asked to remove our footwear before entering the main area where the cats are kept and also to wash our hands thoroughly before touching the cats.
Once settled at our booked table, one notices the graffiti on the walls and that the cats start coming from under the chair and roam around freely. After closely examining the place I realized that besides being a theme café, there is a social cause at the core of running the place.
Started in 2010 with a compassionate intention of caring for rescued cats from the local vicinity, CCS is a private organisation run and funded by Zcyphher- An Independent Creative Agency. From 2015 onwards the café gained popularity among the Mumbaikars. Click here for more information: http://catcafestudio.com/ The best part of the café is that all cats seen around while sipping one’s coffee or having a snack, are up for Adoption! Though the main café area just has around 12 cats for people to interact with, at a given time the place hosts approximately 30-40 cats on their premise.
The CCS promotes adoption of rescued cats and encourages the visitors to care for the feline community, particularly who are homeless and weak. Click this video for more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVVRg4AXA7Q
During my visit to CCS, I could sense a warm feeling run down my body, which I know was a result of touching, cuddling and caring for so many cats at a time.
As I bid good bye to the cats at CCS that night, I felt good, of spending my time qualitatively, first by petting and cuddling the cats. Above all, the air at the café that night was fragrant with love and compassion that was expressed towards the cats. I believe, showing genuine love and compassion to the rescued cats (and also towards other animal species in the world) by humans, surely will help the cats to heal on their trauma, which certainly will create positive experience for them and help them get stronger, as they take on the challenges of their respective lives, just like we humans do!
Photo Courtesy: Nikita Kamat & Shraddha C. Sankulkar