Gem City Catfe

The Gem City Catfe: A Hidden Gem of Dayton

Coffee, cats, community. What more could a UD student need?

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If you have never heard of a catfe, it combines two awesome things: a cafe as well as a cat rescue. The catfe is a great place for pet lovers, coffee drinkers, and especially students.

Gem City Catfé - Dayton's Cat Cafe www.youtube.com

Owner Karin Johnson previously did marketing for another local animal shelter. She saw an opportunity to create the cat cafe as a way to get the general public involved in animal rescue and welfare. The goal was to provide a positive place where people and cats can positively interact without any expectations of adoption and without feeling guilty. So it's a win-win situation for students who can't own pets to be able to spend time with animals while also helping the cats to socialize.

The Catfe has a cat lounge that is home to 18 adoptable, cuddly cats. Whether you are a cat or a dog person, there is something to be said for being able to go and pet an animal. Research has also found that animals as pets can help improve mental health, especially in calming stress and reducing anxiety.

In addition to the cat lounge area, there is also cafe seating and an art gallery area upstairs with additional seating. So there is plenty of area to spread out and study! The cat lounge and the other areas run on separate air systems so even people with allergies can visit.

The cafe has a full-service espresso bar that serves fair-trade coffee and tea. They also offer bakery items and snacks like soft pretzels, hummus, bagels, and cupcakes from Butter Cafe. They have also expanded their menu to serve wine and cocktails. You can enjoy a caffeinated beverage as you study, and an alcoholic drink to unwind and reward yourself afterward.

Since opening in January of 2018, the Catfe has experienced great success and continued to grow. In addition to the cat lounge, they also educate about caring for feral cat communities as well as spaying and neutering through their Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) programs. The Catfe's success is most evident in how 104 cats and counting have already been adopted as well as over 60 people trained through the TNR workshop.

Lindsey Bronder Lindsey Bronder

They have also added other programs and events like yoga every month, a game night, and now are going to offer study nights for students! On Monday nights from 5-9 PM the Catfe will offer students with a valid student ID the use of their upstairs space and free WIFI. Additional perks during this event is that their drip coffee will have free refills and there will be pizza for sale by the slice from Pizza Factory. Most importantly, every hour students (with the purchase of any food or drink) can take a free 5 minute study break to relieve stress by going into the cat lounge and cuddling the cats!

If you can't attend the study nights, the Catfe is open Monday-Thursday from 7AM to 8PM, Friday from 7AM to 9PM, Saturday 8AM-9PM, and Sunday from 9AM to 7PM. The Catfe is located on 5th Street in Dayton, so it is a quick walk from the RTA Flyer free shuttle route stop in the Oregon District also located on 5th Street. The cat lounge does offer reservations and has an entry fee to help care for the kitties, which is $10 for non-members and $5 for members. Members pay a $25 annual fee and can share their discounted entry rate to others visiting with them. I am a member of the Catfe, and I have found that it is a great way to show your support and to also save money on future visits!

In addition to studying, I also like to go to the Catfe for just relaxation. I brought my parents when they visited UD for a peaceful afternoon. My boyfriend and I enjoy going there for a fun, inexpensive date night. It's all around the place for students to be!

So be sure to visit the Catfe and to follow the cute cats on Instagram!

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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5 Amazing Plants To Decorate Your Dorm

A list of five beautiful and low-maintenance plants to bring your dorm room to life!

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Living in a dorm room can create a sense of constriction and drabness. In my opinion, nothing spices up your dorm room better than a little bit of nature. Not only does it bring the outdoors inside, it creates a view of freshness that will make you feel less cramped and more motivated. Here are some low-maintenance plants that will automatically make your room look more sophisticated and lively.

1. Parlor Palm

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The parlor palm is one of the best plants to have in a dorm room, specifically because it does not require much space to grow in, prefers low lighting, and only needs to be watered once a week, perfect for busy college students in small dorm rooms. In addition, the plant also functions as an air purifier.

2. Haworthia

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The haworthia, or the zebra cactus, is, in my opinion, one of the most attractive plants you can have in your dorm room. Since it is a succulent, it only needs to be watered once a week. Because of its small size, it makes the perfect desk decoration.

3. Pin Stripe Plant

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The Calathea ornata is one of my personal favorites. The contrast between the dark green leaves and the light pink stripes looks absolutely stunning and can instantly make your room look more sophisticated (even if you're a mess). It only requires watering once a week and does not need direct sunlight as long as the area it is in is bright.

4. Earth Star

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The Crypthanthus plant is an easy-maintenance addition to your dorm room. It is small enough to fit on your desk and needs indirect sunlight and weekly watering. The stripes running down the leaves, which are patterned in a star shape, make this low-lying plant an unforgettable sight.

5. Air Plants

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Air plants are some of the easiest plants to care for. They do not need any soil to grow, so there is less of a mess when caring for them. Air plants need to be rinsed once a week to be watered, and they can make beautiful additions to terrariums. They require bright, indirect sunlight although they love warmth, and are overall very low-maintenance but also add a stunning pop of color to any room.

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