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Unique cat cafe opens in Berkeley Springs

Give Purrs A Chance Cat Cafe, the first cat cafe in West Virginia, will open May 12 in Berkeley Springs. The cat adoption center will have up to 40 cats running free in the large Victorian house. They will also feature regular yoga classes throughout the week with weekly music and dance nights with the cats. The cafe will have weekend teas in its “Alice in Wonderland” themed cafe. A food truck run by Lot 12, the four star Berkeley Springs restaurant, will serve barbeque and other food to patrons of the cafe. The Catique Boutique will feature a huge selection of cat related artwork, prints, soaps, crafts, pottery, jewelry and clothing.

“Give Purrs A Chance is the most unique cat cafe in the country” says George Farnham, founder and president. “Berkeley Springs is the perfect location for us with our established arts, crafts and spa personnel available. We are overwhelmed by the response from the community.”

GPAC will be the first cat cafe to hold numerous weekly yoga classes, to have acoustic music nights with the cats and to offer dance night with the cats. The number of cats for adoption is the most of any cafe. The five bedroom house is the largest of all the cat cafes. The unique Catique Boutique has both vintage and collectible cat items along with a large variety of consigned cat related items from local artists and crafts people.

The $7 admission is the lowest of any cafes. Their stay and play as long as you like is only cafe with that feature.

Another unique feature of GPAC is that all members of their Board of Directors, also known as the Meowfia, were required to take an ink loyalty oath to the organization by getting a tattoo of a cat. Board members Laurie Fischer, Jackie Lewis and George Farnham all complied.

GPAC is also unique in that it will be the first cafe to directly handle adoptions directly rather than partnering with a single group that handles intake and adoptions. Instead Purrs is partnering with three local cat rescues to obtain our cats. Neighborhood CAT of Kearneysville, WV; Heart of the Earth Sanctuary and Rescue of Potomac Park, Maryland and Missy Smith Rescue of Cumberland, Maryland are the rescues associated with GPAC.

“GPAC chose to partner with rescues rather than shelters because we wanted for our cats to have been socialized in a cage free environment. None of our cats will ever be put in cage. We do not believe in caging animals” said Farnham.

GPAC’s hope is to adopt out at least 100 cats a year. “Our goal is to put a smile on your face before you enter the our house and to have you adopt a cat before you leave,” said Farnham. GPAC will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Opening day is May 12. A cotillion Dinner Dance will be held at 6 p.m. May 11 at The Country Inn in Berkeley Springs.

Cat cafes originated in Japan where they currently have 150 cat cafes. The concept spread through Asia and Europe next. The first cafe in the United States opened in Oakland in the fall of 2014. There are currently about 50 cafes in the country, mostly in major cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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