Follow the Paw Prints to the Cat Cafe Lounge
There are not a lot of things that will get me out of bed on a snuggly Saturday morning with the sun streaming in through the windows. But this intriguing text from a friend, “Wanna come to cat yoga today?” certainly did the trick. Cat Yoga at Cat Café Lounge? Being a closet crazy cat lady – sadly my building does not allow pets – I had actually scoped out the Cat Café Lounge the week before. Their shining sign glowing in the dark of Sepulveda Boulevard had piqued my interest. I parked and followed the paw prints on the steps up to the entrance. Drat, they were closed for the night. I vowed to make my way back.
Yoga with Cats at Cat Cafe
Somehow, I didn’t figure that it would be in the early morning, bleary-eyed, and in yoga clothes. I’m not the most bendy or peaceful of beings but come on, there were going to be cats!! My friend up in Ottawa had recounted to me her experience with goat yoga in a field at a farm. She described the resulting chaos that involved deft footwork through a muddy minefield of dung, unexpectedly large and aggressive goats making direct contact with random body parts, and the odd surprise of realizing that an animal is actually trying to eat your hair when you’re in downward dog in the slop.
Cat Yoga was also a very authentic experience and happily a fun one. The large space was created and fitted with custom-built features for the cats to climb, play, and rest with all kinds of intricate steps, ramps, and perches to suit the needs of over 30 cats. You know you are entering their world when you look down to see several cat-sized yoga mats with cat toys tethered to them.
As we took to our mats and began to work ourselves into the poses (in a sequence led by yoga teacher Amy Renee), it became clear that we became additional toy structures for them to play amongst.
As the cats frolicked and played, (either gently or aggressively) or obliviously slept, we went through an easy yoga sequence that was perfectly tailored to the atmosphere.
Supporting Cat Adoptions
Afterward, we spent time interacting with the cats, all of whom are available for adoption. The resident cat behavior expert was a marvel; she introduced us to the cats, told their stories and described their personalities sharing some scientific insights into feline psychology. You left feeling as if you had made a few good friends and with the reassurance that these strays had found a lovely place to recover and hopefully start a new chapter of their lives.
Visit the Cat Cafe Lounge
For more information on visiting the Cat Cafe Lounge, visit: catcafelounge.com. Visits to the Cafe (complete with coffee/tea and Wifi) are tax-deductible donations and support the nonprofit’s mission to “reduce euthanization by increasing adoptions while socializing cats.”
The next Cat Yoga–or Paws Yoga class taught by Amy Renee will be held on December 8 at 10am.
Lia Abbate is native Californian artist and writer who lives in Santa Monica. You can find her on Instagram @sunnyat1234.