Living on Earth

Air Date: Week of April 14, 2017
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One of the cats that calls Java Cats Café home right now. (Photo: Java Cats Café)

At a new Cat Café in Atlanta, you can order "espurrsso," an "Ameowicano" or a "catpuccino" -- and hang out with adoptable cats, like the vocal feline “Olivia.” Cat-lover Sean Powers of Georgia Public Broadcasting created this audio postcard.


CURWOOD: Cat lovers can be fiercely loyal to their pets, like Sean Powers of Georgia Public Broadcasting who even brings his cat to work! So it was inevitable that when a cat cafe opened in Atlanta, Sean went to check it out and prepared this audio postcard.

WITMEYER: Hey, guys, how's it going?

CUSTOMER: Good. How are you?

WITMEYER: Good. Thanks! If you have any questions, let me know. Most of the cats here have collars on that have their names on them. Blue is male, pink is female. Do you guys have cats at home?


WITMEYER: Awesome, OK. Well, you're good to go. Just have fun.

WITMEYER: My name is Rachel Witmeyer and I'm a cat lounge host here, and my job is to make sure the cats are interacting well with all of our guests and that they have enough food and water and a clean place to use a litter box, and then also to figure out what their favorite toys are.


WITMEYER: That is a meowing piano. [MUSICAL NOTES] He seems to like it.

The coffee lounge area at Java Cats Café in Atlanta. (Photo: Java Cats Café)


LOVELLE: Hello! So sweet. I just love cats. [LAUGHS]

LOVELLE: I'm Tina Lovelle. I'm a teacher. I'm wearing a black cat T-shirt. I'm a big cat nerd, so it's right up my alley, no pun intended. I think cats just have a personality, and what I like about them is that you have to get to know the cat to really understand the cat, you know, as opposed to a dog. You know a dog from the get go. This dog is happy and that's the dog, as opposed to, like, it's a person. If you meet someone new, you have to take time to get to know them, and cats are the same way.


WITMEYER: This is Olivia. She's been adopted. That's Mama Turnip. She's very unhappy. Would you like a treat? If only I had a video right now. The cat's trying to claw at the window.

MAYO: My name is Brent Mayo. I do field operations, mostly data collection for a technology company.

Right now I'm seeing lots and lots of toys. This is - so people can visualize it - almost like a skate park except for cats. There are ramps, and there are little jumper boards for the cats to go up the walls and diagonally, one board to the next. It's kind of a cat's dream play-scape.

BOT: I used to have a black cat. He liked my roommate more, so I gave him to my roommate. My name's Bridget Bot. It's really cool. I really...It's a different experience. I love cats, and I love coffee, so it's cool for the two to be together.


MASON: And then once it's at blood temperature, you dunk it to where it's nice and silent and you're just heating the milk to that perfect temperature.

The cat lounge at Java Cats Café features a large play area for the animals. (Photo: Java Cats Café)


MASON: My name is Chris Mason. I am the certified barista trainer here at Java Cats. My wife was the one that told me about this place. I was going to school and working at a burrito shop, and my wife came up to me to said, "Chris, there's a place that’s serving coffee and cats and you're really good at coffee, and I want a pet cat. So, you need to apply there and get a job."

HILTON: My name is in Hayden Hilton, and I'm the owner of Java Cats Cafe. I just hope in a year from now that we are still successful, still doing a high number of adoptions, that we live beyond the hype. Right now, people are really excited about this new different idea, but I want to be a staple coffee shop in Atlanta, and just people come for the coffee and not necessarily for the cats, or people come for the cats and not necessarily for the coffee, but just be a great coffee shop that is giving back to the community.

CURWOOD: That’s Hayden Hilton, owner of the cat cafe, ending Sean Powers’ audio postcard of this new furry Atlanta attraction.


Links - Java Cats Café