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Savannah cat café to bring drinks, furry friends together

If you’ve ever wanted to relax with a glass of wine and cuddle with some cute, adoptable felines then Pounce Cat Café + Wine Bar is the perfect place for you.

The Charleston-based cat café will be opening a Savannah location this fall.

“We are ecstatic about coming to Savannah. This concept has really taken off in Charleston, and with very similar cultures and vibes, we know a cat cafe will do well in Savannah, too,” said Pounce owner Ashley Brooks.

“We’re just really excited about the opportunity to help even more cats in need in our sister city.”

Customers will be able to make reservations for $15 an hour, which includes an hour in the cafe’s “cat room” with cats and kittens that will be available for adoption. The price also includes a complimentary beer, wine or “meowmosa” or bottomless coffee or tea, and pastries will also be available for purchase.

With origins in Asia, cat cafes have been growing in popularity across the United States for the last couple of years. Pounce in Charleston, which opened in December 2016, has already placed 239 cats and kittens into forever homes by partnering with the Charleston Animal Society. Their adoption rate places the café among the top in the country for adoptions, Brooks said.

“I have always been a cat person. Growing up, we always had three or four cats at home, and I was definitely that kid who always had to stop and pet all of the neighborhood cats,” she said.

“There are tons of pictures of me as a baby holding our cats, and it seemed like I was always dressed up like a cat for Halloween. Crazy cat lady since day one.”

Brooks decided to bring the concept home to Charleston after working in a cat café in Washington, D.C., where she was attending graduate school.

“After getting hired, I fell so in love with every aspect of the job — other than scooping litter boxes, probably. Not only was I getting to help socialize shelter cats and find them forever homes, and I was also getting to give people a really fun and unique experience that they would never forget,” she said, adding that she presented the idea to her best friend, who jumped on board with no hesitation.

“So, after I was done with school I moved back home to Charleston and opened my own cat café, but this time with wine and the rest is history.”

This week Brooks will be in Savannah meeting with representatives from an area shelter in hopes that they’ll supply the café’s felines as well as scouting locations for the café, which she aims to put in a high foot-traffic area.

The café will also be subject to health department guidelines, which Brooks said are already underway. None of the pastries will be prepared on site and the bar area is separate from the cat room, so customers can still enjoy a beverage or snack while watching the cats play through a window.

In Charleston there are usually 18 to 22 cats at the café, which frees up space at the café’s partner shelter, the Charleston Animal Society, and helps further resources and volunteer time to save even more animals. Brooks said, above all, that’s what it’s all about.

“We’re so excited about being able to help so many cats in need and really can’t believe our numbers,” she said.

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On the web

For more information on Pounce Cat Cafe + Wine Bar, go to www.pouncecatcafe.com.

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