About this project
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GOALS & STRETCH GOALS!
We have a problem. There are too many cats living in shelters.
We have another problem. There are too many people who love cats, but rarely find themselves in the company of their favorite animal. Why? Because...well, life.
You know how we can solve both those problems? A cat cafe.
Everyone who backs our Kickstarter project (at any level) gets inducted into the Gentlemeow's Club!
Washington DC has a lot of shelter cats - these cats live in cages for months, sometimes years, and many never find a home. Eventually, some of them have to be put down.
Washington DC also has a lot of people who are in love with cats. They love being around cats because cats make them feel relaxed, loved, and happy.
Wait. Sounds like supply and demand are both flourishing. So why do we have so many cats that live in shelters, deprived of a home and companionship? And why do we have so many people who yearn for the company of cats but can't seem to find it?
Well, because there's a gaping hole in the market. Because the "you either have a pet cat or volunteer at the shelter to be in the company of a cat" model doesn't work. Let me explain.
We can't all have pets - as much as we would love to. Life is busy! We already have so much on our plates! And isn't having pets a less extreme version of having babies?! Whoa. NO THANKS. But wait...can I still cuddle with a cat? Like, in the 'no strings attached' way? Oh, I have to go to a shelter for that? Okay never mind, those places make me really sad. I'll just wait a few years. One day far, far away - I'll get a cat.
And the problem continues.
Crumbs & Whiskers solves this problem by creating a space that looks like your favorite coffee shop - but with adoptable cats! You don't have to go to a shelter that makes you feel really sad, overwhelmed, and guilty to get some cat play time anymore. And you can also stop hating your anti-pet landlord and/or your busy lifestyle for getting in the way of cat cuddles. Win.
- All the cats in the space will be provided by the Washington Humane Society and will be up for adoption, but if you are not ready to be a mom or dad just yet, that's totally cool. At Crumbs & Whiskers, you can get your pet fix but with no strings attached (unless of course, you attach them yourself) and in an environment that is fun and relaxing. Unlike the shelter, Crumbs & Whiskers provides a fun and comfortable environment so that people can feel the things they seek when spending time with a pet - love, happiness, and comfort.
- Okay so this is awesome for people, but how does this benefit the cats? Glad you asked!
- Improved quality of life: The cat cafe is also the foster home for these cats, which means we rescue them from our partner shelter, The Washington Humane Society. Crumbs & Whiskers will be the cats' new home until they are adopted out.
- Increased adoptions: By putting cats in an environment that's safe and comfortable, we give cats the chance to let their personalities shine. Which means you will fall in love with that little guy way faster than your brain can process right now. And you'll probably take him home.
- More lives saved: By fostering cats, we create more space at our partner shelter for other cats in need. Their shelter capacity increases, which means more cats can be cared for. Euthanasia rates decrease. YES.
This is the future of cat adoptions.
HOW IT'S GOING TO WORK
All food and drinks will be provided by our partners. Visitors will pay an hourly cover charge. Initially, as we expect demand to be high, reservations will be required. We'd rather do that than have our customers form huge lines outside and wait for long periods of time.
Guests will be able to book hourly reservations at the cat cafe. All adoptions will go through the Washington Humane Society.
SO, WHERE ARE WE IN THE PROCESS?
1. Location: We have our eyes set on a location and are in the process of signing a lease.
2. Zoning: We have filed for a Zoning Special Exemption under the specific property we are leasing. Our hearing date is March 24. If approved, Crumbs & Whiskers will open in summer 2015, barring any additional administrative/government approval-related delays.
WHAT WILL THE FUNDS BE USED FOR?
As with any cafe, the interior decor and atmosphere are EXTREMELY important to creating a memorable experience. The cat cafe's interior has to be optimized for humans as well as cats, which will make it a very unique and quirky space. Your contribution determines how much fun we (and the cats) can have with the space!
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Risks and challenges
1. Zoning: As an animal boarding facility, Crumbs & Whiskers has to get a Zoning Special Exemption from DC's Board of Zoning Adjustment. Our hearing date is set for March 24, 2015. Although we have a strong case, there is a small likelihood that we will be denied a special exemption. In that case, this Kickstarter campaign will be closed and no one's cards will be swiped. The length of this campaign is intentionally set to go past the zoning hearing date so that we are able to cancel this campaign in the event that we get denied a special exemption. So don't worry about funding a cat cafe that could possibly get denied - you will not be charged anything in the case of a zoning denial.
2. Department of Health: As you can imagine, combining food and animals under one roof raises many eyebrows at the DOH. We are working with the Department of Health to ensure that Crumbs & Whiskers complies with all food safety regulations.
3. Logistics: This is a very novel concept and as a result, poses some extremely unique operational challenges. This is where you come in! We are giving backers early access so you can help us test out the concept in real time! We will be listening HARD when you tell us about your experience. And thank you for helping us figure this out!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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