San Jose’s first and only cat café closes up shop in another two weeks, ending a five-month pilot that resulted in dozens of cat adoptions.
Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio wants the city to build on that success by creating a permanent cat café to encourage cat adoptions for the local animal shelter. The proposal comes up on Tuesday’s City Council agenda.
The Dancing Cat on Julian Street started as a month-long pop-up shop, an experiment by Mary Rubin and Ann Chasson to promote adoptions and create a public gathering space for cat lovers.
For a cover charge, patrons could hang out in a living room-like lounge populated by a clowder of cats looking for a new home. There were workshops, storytimes and other community events. Feline-themed art decorated the bright, colorful space. People’s excitement for The Dancing Cat led proprietors to extend their lease on the converted liquor store for another several months.
Cat cafes, which originally started in Japan in the late ’90s, have become increasingly popular in the United States. The Cat Town Café opened in Oakland last fall, followed by similar spinoffs in San Francisco, San Diego and, this past May, San Jose.
Oliverio envisions a long-term, volunteer-staffed and city-sponsored version of The Dancing Cat as an extension of San Jose’s main Animal Care Services facility on Monterey Street or another public community center. If no other funds are available, he offered to use money from his District 6 office to pay for cat-related furniture and other amenities.
“The [café] would not only provide its community with a service that it would soon otherwise be without, but would also promote cat adoption,” he wrote in a memo, “leading to the provision of homes for animals that may otherwise have none.”
The Dancing Cat, located at 702 E. Julian St., will close Nov. 15. It's open Wednesday for adoptions by appointment only, from noon to 6pm Thursday and Sunday and noon to 9pm Friday through Saturday. For more information, go to www.thedancingcat.org.
In other cat-related news, Oliverio will host a cat video festival later this month.
More from the San Jose City Council agenda for November 3, 2015:
- The Mineta San Jose International Airport will award $607,000 to Irish Construction, the lowest bidder, to install fiber to improve the communication system and reinforce the perimeter.
- As the city considers ways to reduce the regulatory demands on taxis, the Yellow Checker Cab Company is asking for temporary or expedited driver permits, flexible fares and more training.
- City officials will discuss the price and terms of payment for the Plaza Hotel, a rundown inn that the city plans to convert into temporary housing for the homeless.
WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260