The Three C's: Cats, Coffee, and Cuteness

The Three C's: Cats, Coffee, and Cuteness

All you need to know about the cat cafe

Cats. Coffee. Cuteness. What more could you want?

If you've never heard of the Cat Cafe, you're missing out. Originating in Taiwan back in 1998, the cat cafe has been a booming industry in the East, particularly Japan, for several decades now. The premise is essentially exactly as it sounds, patrons pay a set fee (usually hourly) to hang out with cats and drink coffee served by the staff. It's all the fun of having the cat without the litterbox--what could be better than that?

For years now the cat cafe has been a staple attraction in Japan, but those of us who can't hop on a jet to Tokyo will be happy to hear that the cat cafe has finally found it's way to the states!

However, cat cafes are more than just a fun attraction, many are also a sanctuary for shelter cats who may otherwise not get a chance at a happy home.

Cat cafes opening across the country are offering the chance for their patrons to adopt the kitties they came to cuddle with. Many cat cafes are partnering with local shelters in order to find good homes for shelter cats that might not otherwise get a chance at happy home life.

Older cats, for example, are often better adjusted to social settings and make great cat cafe residents. While these older kitties might get passed up on for a younger kitten in a shelter, cat cafes give them the chance to really flaunt their stuff in bigger spaces filled with toys and people.

Eater provides a list of 24 Cat Cafes open and established in the US, but new ones are popping up in cities across the country all the time. In fact, you may or may not know that Richmond also has its very own cat cafe! Central Purrk (partnered with Zoomies) is home to a cycling coalition of kitties all looking for furever homes, and the coffee isn't half bad either! Unlike some other cat cafes, the cafe section of Central Purrk is open to the public without reservation, so if you'd like to support the cause without getting your paws dirty, it's a lovely place to sit down and enjoy a croissant and free wifi. Plus, if you find yourself hankering for some kitty love, it's all too easy to pick up your coffee and pop next door to hang out with the local fuzzballs!

A Zoomies kitty who doesn't quite know how the couch works yet.

In a shameless act of adoration for a place I myself frequent as often as possible, I highly recommend Cental Purrk as a place to relax and distress after a hard day's work. Or, if you're like me, mooch off the wifi and get some work done as well! If you're interested in checking out Central Purrk and Zoomies, visit their FAQ page for a more compurrhensive explanation of their inner workings.

My most recent cat cafe adventure!

While there are some controversy surrounding cat cafes and the stress it could place on the animals, a good cat cafe makes sure that their kitties have plenty of time to relax away from human interaction. Most cat cafes have back areas inaccessible to customers where cats who have had enough attention for the day can recuperate, others have two separate groups of kitties who cycle out in order to relieve each other of their cafe duties.

If your town or city has a cat cafe, consider stopping in for a visit, drinking some coffee, and giving some love to the residents. Who knows, maybe you'll end up bringing home your favorite kitty cafe staff member!

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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9 Undeniable Reasons Molly Is The Greatest Dog On The Face Of The Planet

There's really no argument against it.

Many Americans (42.5 million to be exact) own dogs. Everyone is convinced that their dog is the greatest, but I'm here to tell you that my dog is in fact, the greatest dog on the planet. Her name is Molly, and she's wonderful. Don't believe me? Keep reading. You'll be surprised how much you wish you had a Molly in your life.

1. Molly loves snow

Molly is always down for a good time in the snow. In fact, no one has more fun in the snow than her. Some of her favorite snow activities include rolling in the snow, laying in the snow, running in the snow, eating the snow, and chewing on sticks in the snow. If you need help having a good time in the snow, Molly is the one to go to, because snow is quite possibly her favorite thing.

2. Molly loves hugs

Molly is the absolute BEST at hugs. If you're sad, hug Molly. If you're happy, hug Molly. If you're angry, hug Molly. If you're feeling any sort of way, well I think you get the picture. Molly will never turn down a hug, whether she's known you her whole life, or if she just met you. Molly hugs have a capability to make you feel better like no other hugs, and she loves them just like she loves you.

3. Molly loves frolicking in the sun

Another one of Molly's favorite thing is bright, sunny, warm days. She loves to go on walks and search out different smells. She also loves to swim in the pond on these nice, warm days. If you need someone to play outside with you on a beautiful spring day, Molly is your gal.

4. Molly loves watching TV with you

Molly is happiest when she is upstairs watching TV with the rest of the family. She enjoys laying on your feet while you watch TV, and she'll stay up there with you until the wee hours of the morning, even when she is exhausted. Try to find a better TV watching partner than Molly. It's just not possible.

5. Molly loves car rides

Molly doesn't care where you're going, she'll ride with you anywhere. She'll ride with you to the store, to the vet, even just around town. She's the greatest car ride partner, and she's car trained, so that's a plus.

6. Molly is patriotic

During the Olympics, Molly loves wearing her red, white, and blue medal around the house to show her patriotism. She loves the Olympics and supporting her home country. When Molly watches the Olympics, you can see her love for the USA in her eyes.

7. Molly loves selfies

But first, let me take a selfie. That's basically Molly's life motto. She doesn't turn down a good, old-fashioned selfie. She's so photogenic and loves to make your picture 10000x times better just by being in it.

8. Molly loves Christmas

Who all loves Christmas?? Molly certainly does!! She even wears a bow around the house during the "most wonderful time of the year." She loves getting new treats from Santa and opening her stocking on Christmas Day.

9. Molly is just plain cool

'Nuff said.

So there you have it. Molly is the greatest dog on the planet, and now you know why. I hope everyone gets the chance to meet Molly, because she's pretty special. So here's to you, Molly. You're the best and don't ever change.

Cover Image Credit: Victoria Tarkington

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You'll Interconnect With The Forest After Reading 'The Hidden Life of Trees'

This fascinating book explains the amazing ways trees communicate.

I’ve always loved the fictional forests in Greek mythology or “The Lord of the Rings” with their dryads or Ents, trees that are personable, that interact, and communicate with each other. But I never thought of the actual forests in reality as much more than spaces where trees grow next to each other. They provide ecosystems for other species, I knew that much. I assumed that individual trees were isolated from each other and focused on their own individual growth or reproduction.

Then I read Peter Wohlleben’s “The Hidden Life of Trees.” His scientific yet conversational bestseller describes many fascinating aspects. But, the most memorable chapters are the ones that explain how trees communicate.

Forest trees, so I learned from Wohlleben, are incredibly interconnected with each other through their roots and fungal systems attached to roots. It's in every tree’s interest to keep the climate around them stable, so healthy trees will use the underground connections to share sugars with young or sick trees nearby. Not only this, but tree roots recognize roots of trees that are siblings. They respectfully keep their branches out of their relative’s space.

Another common tree interaction is to warn other trees about predators. Wohlleben gives the example of thorn acacias in the African Savannah. A Thorn Acacia will release a special gas into the air when giraffes eat its leaves. This triggers nearby trees to put up toxic defenses to ward away the giraffes. Other trees may send warning chemicals through the fungal root system.

Wohlleben also discusses new research on other ways trees may be communicating: through sound waves! One study performed on grain plants by Dr. Monica Gagliano of the University of Western Australia showed that root tips make a high crackling noise of about 220 Hertz. When exposed to this sound, root tips of other plants will grow towards the other roots. The roots were listening for other plants!

Wohlleben explores this and many other topics in “The Hidden Life of Trees,” like how trees learn, sleep, age, and compete. Wohlleben also teaches his readers how to recognize the signs of interaction between trees during ordinary walks in the forest. Now every time I see the arboretum behind my dorm, I think of all the conversations those trees are having…

Cover Image Credit: Evangeline Schmitt

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