Cat Cafe provides purr-fect experience

Deanna Hampton, Staff Writer

Immediately after entering the brick brown building, I was surrounded by a sense of warmth and comfort. The smell of freshly brewed coffee and cute cakes and muffins presented themselves to me in successful attempts to lure me further into the cafe. Inside awaited little tables and chairs. To the left, a food and drink cooler and in front, a little ways ahead, a counter with treats and creamers sitting almost in the middle of the room.

The cafe I was visiting was a new small business named The Region Cat Cafe, located on 281 W. 80th Place. As advertised on their website, they serve different foods and beverages, while their main attraction is the cute kittens in the room right behind me, which are available for adoption. 

“My favorite part about the cat room is getting to know each and every cat,” a friendly cat staff member explained. “They all have their little different personalities. It’s been two weeks since we’ve been open and we’ve had cats come in and out. Every cat that has been in here has adjusted well. They all band together so well it’s really amazing.” 

There’s two levels inside of The Region Cat Cafe. The first floor where you come in is where you’ll find foods like cute cat-shaped sandwiches and paninis with pretzels. You’ll also find chalkboards with colorful words sprawled across them telling you what treats, soups, and lattes you’ll be able to indulge in.

Directly across from that desk is the famous cat room, complete with a see-through window where you can watch and interact with the kitties without  going directly into the room. 

When heading to the second level of the cafe, you’ll be led to a staircase that spirals up and around to a playful rest area. There you’ll find a beautiful mural of cats playing in a field on the back wall, and tables where you can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while you play board games with your friends. 

“This place was designed to feel like home,” Linda Ramos, the owner of the cafe, said. “It’s a welcoming safe place that you can come hangout with your friends and family. I’ve even had grown men come in here and say we’ve got such a comfortable atmosphere going. I feel like when that happens, you know we’re doing something right.”

I had the pleasure of greeting the furballs and finding out what all the hot meow was about. Inside the cat room was lined with cat trinkets and cubbies for sleep. There was food, water and lots of high places for the kittens to stretch their legs. 

Playing with adorable kittens with even more adorable names was lighthearted and overall such a calming experience. I got to learn about each cat’s past and the hardships they’ve been through while taking time to build connections with these furry friends. Then I found out about the main goal of this cat cafe.

“Our goal is to find a home for 100 kittens. So far we’ve managed to help seven kittens during our mission,” the staff member said. “While there are several reasons to come in and visit us, the main thing is to come in and adopt a cat that you are personally attached to. We’ve also got phenomenal food.” 

That food includes a nice variety of sandwiches, chips and sweets I had a lot to choose from. What piqued my interest the most was a treat called a Peanut Butter Hazelnut Banana Sandwich. It was lightly shaped like a cat’s head and since trying new things is right up my alley, I dived head first into the unknown flavors of this sweet treat. I was recommended by the owner herself to get it warmed in their panini press, which I believe enhanced its flavor greatly.

My first impression of this sandwich was a warm sweet substance coating my tongue. As I chewed, hints of banana subtly made itself known to me and hazelnut followed soon behind it. In the container, I was surprised to find pretzel sticks underneath my sandwich which when paired together offered the perfect combination of sweet and salty. 

Finishing this dessert was a simple task that anyone with even the smallest appetite could achieve. I then proceeded to wash down my flavorful meal with a hot slightly bitter coffee just how I like it. 

The Region Cat Cafe offers many services and great experiences. It’s open for business for not only a noble cause but also to bring comfort for you and the people around you. Teaming up with the Second Chance 4 Pets Network, the cafe is an idea we’ve never seen anywhere in Northwest Indiana  and is something we can all be excited about.

 You can help support this cafe by dropping by to get a coffee or visiting the kittens. It was definitely money well donated on my part, and I’m well past eager for my next visit. 


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