Long Island, New York has everything from gorgeous beaches, to amazing night life, lots of parks, restaurants, museums, wineries and SO much more. What we also have are HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of homeless cats throughout the island and not nearly enough shelters or foster families. This is where WE come in!
Where on Long Island can you have amazing coffee and freshly baked pastries while hanging out with some adorable adoptable cats? No where! Which is why we need your help to make The Shabby Tabby Cat Cafe dream, a reality.
What is a Cat Cafe anyway? A Cat Cafe is basically a big foster home for homeless cats.
A place where they can roam free, interact with each other, spend some time with us humans, and just live a happier life while waiting for their furrever homes! Our cafe, The Shabby Tabby, will be a place where you can come and enjoy your favorite beverage, snack on our yummy baked goods, and hang out with our adoptable cats!
The mission of The Shabby Tabby is to get as many homeless cats into furrever homes as possible. We understand that many people cannot have pets for one reason or another (allergies, apartment rules, schedule conflicts, etc), so even if you can't adopt you can still come in and get your kitty fix!!!
The cats at The Shabby Tabby will be free roaming in the cat room which is a thousand times better than being pent up in cages all day. Cats at pet stores and shelters are often scared and shy, and unable to show their true personalities to potential adopters, and visitors. Being able to hang out and feel comfortable in their environment is so beneficial to these kitties! And you!!
How will The Shabby Tabby work?
There will be a small fee to get into the cafe, which will go directly to the care of our resident cats (food, toys, litter, vetting, etc). Once you enter, you will be able to purchase your choice of beverage and snack. We will also have fabulous, cat-themed products for you and your kitties.
We will be partnering with The Golden Paw Society, an amazing cat rescue group located in Huntington, NY. All of our cats will come directly from their adoption center, and the adoption process will be according to their policies. By fostering 10-15 of their cats at a time, it frees up space in their adoption center for other homeless cats to occupy.
Eating in a room full of cats?? Yuck! This is the response we get from a lot of people, including the Suffolk County Department of Health, BUT there will be a total separation between the cafe portion and the cat room. Once you have played with the cats, you will exit from there. There will be no cross contamination between the 2 rooms. You will be allowed to take your snacks and drinks into the cat room, but that is totally up to you. We will be following all of the appropriate rules don't worry!
So......coffee and cats. What else? So much more! We are working on the ability to serve wine and beer so we can have have wine tasting nights, events, etc. Every week we will have different events such as Paint Night and Paint Your Pet, Karaoke with cats, Crafts (catnip toys, scratching posts, catnip planters, etc), Seasonal events (pics with Santa/Easter Bunny, pumpkin carving, cats in costumes....)
The Shabby Tabby will also have frequent yoga events with an experienced yoga instructor and our resident cats. And you thought yoga couldn't get any more relaxing!? It can!
Over the last couple of years I've learned a lot about the problems we have on Long Island regarding feral kitties, and how we can help. At The Shabby Tabby we will hold educational events such as Trap-Neuter-Release classes. TNR is the most effective approach to managing the growing population of community cats. Education is key!!
Some people love cats but are just either too busy or uninterested in becoming involved in rescue, which is fine! I feel it's all of our jobs to spread knowledge and facts about how we can help cats in general, whether it be our own, our friend's, or strays. At The Shabby Tabby we will have plenty of information on all kinds of feline related topics.
Kitten season is often the most overwhelming time of year. Cat mating season is approximately January through February and about two months later tons of kittens are born. Each mother cat typically has three to five kittens starting in spring and peaking in late spring/early summer. To help secure the supplies they'll need to care for the millions of new arrivals, and to recruit willing humans as foster families - The Shabby Tabby will host adorable fundraisers called kitten showers.
Ok so what's next? We have our eyes on a couple locations in Patchogue Village. There are so many bars, restaurants, cafes, boutiques in Patchogue but what about our animals?! They're people too!!! Patchogue has come such a long way in the last few years and we would like to be a part of that growth and add a little cat spice to it! Opening a place like this is tough because it's such a new concept to the US, and to Suffolk, but we will do it with your help!
So how will your contributions be used? The majority will be used for the lease startup costs, and the renovations needed to make The Shabby Tabby an amazing place both for the kitties as well as for our human guests. Besides the separation of sides of the establishment, we will customize it so that the cats have plenty of places to play, hang out, relax, snooze, interact, and also get away from us humans when they feel like it.
If all goes as planned, our timeline will be the the following, and The Shabby Tabby will be ready by the end of Summer 2018 or the beginning of the Fall.
Rest In peace to my angel Brody. Without you, none of this would have happened. Thanks for saving all the kitties in spirit.
Risks and challenges
When we started working with the Suffolk County Department of Health the main hurdle was how to prepare food and have cats under the same roof. We explained that food preparation will be little to none since we will mainly serve freshly brewed drinks and pre-packaged baked goods from a partnering bakery. This alleviated a lot of their concerns. We will still be building a separation between cats and snacks to keep the place clean and the Department of Health happy!
Patchogue Village rules are another story. We will have to lease the perfect spot and THEN apply and wait for the permits and zoning exemption hearings to be approved. This can take some time but we are ready and prepared to make this work and it will be amazing.
Some places we’ve looked at to lease, require a change of usage permit in order to make and sell any type of beverage/food. If this process becomes super pricey and lengthy we might have to hold off on the “Cafe” portion and create an amazing Cat Boutique with products for kitties and humans. This is the only roadblock we foresee, which would just be a small bump.
The only real risk here is financial. I am contributing nearly all my savings and salary to this project because we need it so much. To make a difference we have to do our part, and I hope as a team we can come together and make a change in the kitty world.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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