The Charming Cat Corner Is A Shop-Meets-Shelter That Is Doing The Most To Keep Adoptable Kitties Happy And Healthy — Here’s What A Typical Visit Is Like.
There is a lot of cat slander out there, but I am a firm believer that they are the superior pet.
Cats certainly have an iron-clad chokehold on internet culture with new memes and trends popping up on our feeds all the time. One Instagram-friendly trend is the cat café — establishments where you can enjoy the hospitality of a café with a bunch of cats lounging around. The world’s first cat café opened in Taiwan, with popularity catching on in Japan and eventually more of the concept spreading to other countries in Asia and Europe.
With a Google search, I was surprised to learn that there was a similar business in a Lewisville mall — of all places — just 30 minutes outside Dallas. However, t’s not a true cat café with food or drinks available in-house like the viral ones in Japan. Instead, it serves as an adoption center. Even if you’re not in a position to adopt, it’s a great place to just spend quality time with some sweet animals.
Located around the corner from the food court in Music City Mall, The Charming Cat Corner (also referred to as The Charming Cat Café — whatever butters your biscuit) was started by Bev Freed, who organized the nonprofit animal welfare organization, Kitty Save — the program that takes in and hosts the cats of the shop.
The business is essentially a group foster home that allows the public to visit with the cats. Traditional adoption centers and events usually make the animals stressed. They get constantly get moved around, deal with bustling crowds and are put on display in small cages. Foster homes prove to be a more natural, healthy way to house cats before they find a permanent home. So, Freed took that concept and turned it into a storefront.
The Charming Cat Corner has the space, food, enrichment and care that cats need while also being a great way to connect families to their new pets.
Here’s what it’s like to spend the afternoon there:
You’re already greeted with cats at the front desk — they lounge on beds and shelving on the windows or make themselves at home on the keyboard of the check-in computer. Today I was met with a distinguished little grey guy named Gandalf.
Here, you choose a time slot of 30 or 60 minutes — and if you ask me, you really need that full hour. The front is also where the store portion of the business is. Naturally, it’s all cat-related merchandise, some of the inventory being from local artisans.
After you get checked in, you’re sent inside asked to wash your hands before petting any cats.
There’s the main common room, complete with cat trees, toys and chairs for you to sit on with a kitty in your lap. The walls are decorated with endearing cat-lady jokes and art, and my favorite feature is the Victorian-style sitting area with a faux-fireplace and fancy chair.
There are also fans and air purifiers throughout the place to keep the furry tenants feeling fresh, and classical music to make them smarter, I guess. The Charming Cat Corner doesn’t fuck around.
The common room leads to other smaller rooms which are all themed — a galaxy room which is painted top to bottom with the cosmos, a tropical room with natural light, fake trees and Buddha fountain and the Godswood room — that’s right, there’s a Game Of Thrones-inspired cat room. It has a grand autumn tree — complete with a carved face — that the cats can climb, as well as an intricate fake pond and other forest-y decor.
For cats who prefer to be alone, there are two private cubicles. There, I met a one-eyed queen who used my legs as a scratching post.
The hardest part of spending an afternoon here is when you eventually leave all the cats you just bonded with. I simply don’t have the space for 15 cats. Whether it’s a coincidence that all the Kitty Save cats are sweethearts, or it’s the foster-style of care working its magic, there is no one who’s a bitch.
People’s biggest gripe about the animal is that they’re not affectionate or don’t care about their owners, but just 30 minutes here will prove you wrong. Every few feet you’re met with a cat who’ll beg for your attention. They roll around your feet, sit on your lap and refuse to get up and even climb on your shoulders.
Cute cats to pet for us, a chance to find a forever home for them — it’s a win-win from a business model that’s built on sweat, tears and unconditional love.