On a cool Sunday morning January 10th, I arrived early and waited in the parking lot for what would be my first experience at a cat lounge. I booked my appointment at Kittens in Cups in Annapolis, Maryland. The place opened in a few minutes, so I waited in my car. I mindlessly scrolled through my phone while the stereo played K. Michelle’s “All Monsters Are Human” album. Although I tried to distract myself, I was anxious as to what the cat lounge had to offer.
My hope was that everything would be fine. The past few months were a whirlwind of events, so I wanted to do something stress-free. A cat lounge seemed like the perfect activity.
Shortly after me, a minivan drove into the parking lot. I assumed whoever the people were in the car were here for the same reason as me. When I checked the time again, Kittens in Cups was officially open for business. I waited two minutes before I exited my car, but the people in the minivan beside me got out. I noticed a mother and young daughter head for the entrance, and the daughter seemed curious. I said a prayer that I enjoyed my experience at the cat lounge and then I headed to the entrance, too.
The establishment adhered to COVID-19 guidelines with social distancing, face masks, and capacity limits. Employees opened the door, kept us patrons six feet apart, and instructed us to take off our shoes. I overheard the mother explain that her daughter had no idea why they were here, and I think all of us got excited for the little girl. We just knew she would enjoy herself. Employees checked us into the system and then we were free to enjoy our time with the cats.
As soon as employees opened the door to where the cats were on the other side, resident cat Andy greeted us. He was a grey and white cat. He hopped on the check-in table, so you couldn’t help but pet him. The mother and daughter went through the door, but I continued to interact with Andy. The employees were near Andy as well, and I explained to them it had been years since I petted a cat. In that moment, I felt relaxed. One of the employees mentioned the world needed more places like Kittens in Cups and I couldn’t agree more. The time came for me to enter the door to the cats, so I went for it.
Overall, I had a good time. The cat lounge was everything I expected it to be. Relaxing. Fun. Entertaining. I got my change of scenery, so it was worth it. Sharing the space with the cats and being in their presence soothed me. They were friendly and chill. Not to mention, the joy the cats seemed to bring to the rest of the patrons that entered was pleasant. My first cat lounge experience was a success! I knew from that point that I wanted to start a cat café/lounge.