I have something to tell you all: I love cats. Like, I love them so much that I could shamelessly shout it from a mountaintop. While this wasn’t always the case, it certainly is now. My deep appreciation for the furry aliens came when I first adopted Willow — the greatest cat in the world — in 2009. Before our paths crossed, it’d been clear Willow had led a pretty difficult life. Previously named Percia, the little babe was underweight, covered in mites and totally fearful of her world when I adopted her.
Within a short span of time, Willow was able to make vast improvements and quickly adapted to her surroundings and routine. She quickly became a favorite among my peers and her doctors. She remained small and fearless, but grew to be so healthy, strong and affectionate. In fact, I knew I was going to name her Willow from the get-go as Willow trees are known to withstand whatever storm comes their way.
When I adopted sweet Willow, I had no idea what would happen in the years to come that would lead me to a life of travel. Fortunately, a friend of a friend is able to provide a forever home for Willow in Chicago – something I’m grateful for each day. There is nothing more special in the world than someone who has an appreciation to give animals another chance.
And that’s why I love Auckland’s Barista Cats Cafe.
This haven in the heart of Auckland is purrfect for tourists and locals alike. If you’re keen, the employers will show you around and give you some back stories regarding the cats. Many of them have health issues stemming from abuse; others are blind and deaf. Each of the cats are considered “at risk” and have made incredible strides since being placed in the care of the amazing staff.
I will warn you in advance, if you’re interested in spending an afternoon at BaristaCats Cafe, it would be a good idea to call ahead and make a reservation. There is a limitation on how many guests can enter each hour, as the staff don’t want the cats to feel overwhelmed.
The staff members are not only super eager to provide customers with details about each of the house kitties’ personalities, but they’re super enthusiastic in the process. After our quick (but informative tour) we were served our respective teas and were free to chill out.
All in all, this is a noble and trustworthy business that could definitely use some support. If you’re in the area and wondering what to do in Auckland, this is an excellent option. It’s places like this that create a safe haven for abused and unwanted animals that really make a difference.
The flat white coffee I had was delicious and I don’t even really like coffee! Also, there are vegan and gluten free options for those with food sensitivities or preferences.
Address: 95 Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand, 1010 (turn toward the Oakley store)
There are too many cats without homes, and I was fortunate enough to find my little nugget a warm and loving forever home. If you’d like to donate to the organization that helped Willow significantly during her initial transition, please pay it forward to Chicago’s Tree House Humane Society.
Are you an animal lover? Let me know in the comments below!