THE owners of a cat café in Stratford have decided to create the purr-fect family Christmas by bringing the celebrations to their extended family – of cats.
Jayne Richman-Bolt and Rio Roberts are locking the door on their home in Alcester and bringing family and friends – and Christmas dinner – to Shakespaw in Union Street.
The ten resident kitties will also be treated to a turkey dinner for the private family Christmas with a difference.
The café which marked its first anniversary last month, works in close partnership with Pepper’s Pet Rescue in Halesowen and acts as a feline foster facility while new ‘forever homes’ are found, often through customers.
Rio is aided by a cat carer manager who carries out weekly weight and health checks on all the cats as well as a band of keen volunteers who take their turns on ‘cat cuddling’ duty every evening. And in those rare midnight hours with no adult company, there’s even a cat cam keeping a watchful eye on their antics.
Jayne said: “The cats are family so we treat them that way. We will cook the food at home and transport it to the café so we’re able to spend the maximum amount of time with them.
“The cats are already enjoying Christmas and have been having great fun swinging off the paper chains we have made even though we hung them as high as we could from the ceilings!”
Manager Rio, who has been known to sleep overnight to settle in new cats at the café, now runs regular community events, including tarot card reading sessions, Wednesday craft clubs and, in the school holidays, cupcake decorating workshops for children.
Rio said: “When we initially opened a lot of people didn’t really understand what a cat café was. Some people thought it meant you could bring your own cats – or even dogs. But the idea has quickly caught on and it is going down really well. We have people in here now from all over the world.”
Shakespaw is closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Visit at http://shakespawcatcafe.com
To find out more about Pepper’s Pet Rescue or to make a donation, contact Sophie at: firstname.lastname@example.org