By Emma Esteves
Located in the heart of Tremont, Affogato is Cleveland’s first Cat Cafe. It opened last year and since then, it has continued to attract hundreds of eager visitors: people stop by (either walk-in or make a reservation), grab a drink or dessert from the small cafe, and then enjoy some quality time with the cats. Although some people may be concerned that Affogato is not sanitary, the cafe is actually located outside the room that houses the cats. Drinks and delicious pastries are available for sale and can then be brought into the room when the visit begins. While in the lounge, a helpful cat attendant is there to answer questions and help anyone who is interested with the adoption process. Yes, you read that right–all the cats in the cafe can be adopted! This is made possible through their partnership with the Cleveland APL (Animal Protective League). Every month, new cats are brought into the facility regardless of their age or special needs. So, while cultivating an inclusive space for these creatures, Affogato also unites a community of animal lovers who form lifelong connections that can never be broken. Affogato gives the cats a second chance–a hope that they can still find their forever home.
I have visited Affogato a few times now and I always leave with a big smile. This hour-long experience is the perfect way to escape the stress of the real world, sit down with some furry friends, and forget about everything that is going on. Toys are scattered throughout the room to pick up at any time, along with games, books, and comfy furniture. Although each cat has a unique personality, it is easy to fall in love with each one. The shy ones lay in their beds or hide near the ceiling, the playful ones crave attention, and the affectionate ones will happily jump onto your lap and show love. Everyone who visits is always drawn to a specific cat, and my dad and I personally loved watching one named Prince dart through a tunnel over and over again until he tired himself out. With such entertainment, the hour goes by really fast and everyone is always sad to say goodbye.
We are lucky to have Affogato in our area. They have not only created a safe haven for all cats, but they have also strived to bring our community together. It should be noted that since they have opened, there have been 302 cats that have found furr-ever homes. Essentially, Affogato’s work helps open the hearts and eyes of people, giving everyone a new perspective about these loving animals. It is truly an incredible experience, and I highly encourage you (even if you think you don’t like cats) to visit at least once–you will be blown away by this businesses’ incredible impact on our community.
If you would like to learn more about them (or the cats!) check out their website at https://www.affogatocatcafe.com/