New cat cafe coming to Huntsville


Sambo the cat is the mascot at Cattyshack at Lowe Mill in Huntsville.

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Lowe Mill is known as an artist haven in Huntsville. And right now, a woman is carving out a place for cat lovers to mingle with some furry friends. She plans to open Huntsville's first cat cafe.

“I was realizing that we didn't have a lot of adoption outlets,” Cattyshack owner Tina Cooley said.

Cooley has an affection for felines, and after working with a rescue group, she knows how difficult it is to find good homes for cats.

“You've got to have pictures that stand out from the 15,000 other cats that are listed in the area,” Cooley said.

So, Cooley started thinking big picture. She picked out a space at Lowe Mill in Huntsville to open a cat cafe. 

“The lounge is going to have free-roaming cats. And we're going to have around 12 to 15 in here at a time,” Cooley said.

Known as Cattyshack, Cooley says people can make reservations and spend 30 minutes or an hour with the cats.

“There’ll be a coffee area, a reception desk, and the rest is just kind of, I hope it fits,” Cooley said.

Cooley says Cattyshack is about a month away from opening. Until then, she's relying on donations to finish the job, and that means finding some creative ways to raise money. Including a Valentine's Day fundraiser in which people could put their exes’ names in a litter box.

“We're an official non-profit. A 501c3,” Cooley said.

Until then, Cooley has a little more money to raise, and artist Carrie Rice is putting the finishing touches on Sambo's portrait.

“He's going to be our mascot. He could maybe be here some Saturdays,” Cooley said.

Sambo isn't going anywhere, but Cooley says she hopes the new venture can help find homes for hundreds of cats around Huntsville.

Cattyshack is hosting an open house in three weeks. And Cooley says she's looking for volunteers to help out at the café.

You can find more information here.

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