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Hidden In Plain Sight: Yoga And Trivia With Cats At Ann Arbor’s Only Cat Cafe

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Lisa Barry
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Credit Lisa Barry
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Cat hoping to be adopted at tiny Lions Café in Ann Arbor.

If you like cats, there is the purr-fect place for you in Ann Arbor--the “Tiny Lions Cat Café and Adoption Center.”

89.1 WEMU’S Lisa Barry takes you to the place where you can hang out with cats or even do yoga or play trivia surrounded by a couple-dozen furry, four-legged friends in need of a new home.

There are a dozen or so cats hanging around the Tiny Lions cat café in Ann Arbor.  Hailey Hamel is the manager of the Tiny Lions Cat Café on Jackson Road.  She says they try to keep “Cat-pactiy” between 15 and 20 cats in the café at one time with an equal number of kids or adults who may be visiting or looking for a cat to adopt.

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Credit Lisa Barry
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Assorted cat toys for the animals at the Tiny Lions cat café in Ann Arbor.

Once a week, there is yoga with cats at the Tiny Lions location, the only cat café in Ann Arbor.

Wendy Welch is the marketing and communication director for the Humane Society of Huron Valley, which runs the cat café. They serve beer and wine during trivia at the cat café, which typically sells out in advance.

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Credit Lisa Barry
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Wendy Welch (Left) of the Humane Society of Huron Valley and Hailey Hamel (Right) Manager of the Cat Café

She says they also have coloring with cats and family movie night with cats at the Tiny Lions Cat café and adoption center.

The center has about 150 volunteers, including Katie Parzych, who was working the front desk with two cats sleeping nearby the day I visited.

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Credit Lisa Barry
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Mahin Munir of Ann Arbor looks for a cat connection at the cat café.

All of the cats inside the cat café have been rescued and are available for adoption …with more than 600 cats being placed in homes since the cat café opening just over two years ago.

Mahin Munir from Ann Arbor was visting the Tiny Lions Cat Café for the first time looking for “some snuggles." He says he is thinking about adopting a cat and was there to do some bonding and see what might be available.  Victoria Peruski is a student at the University of Michigan studying neuroscience.  She already has two kittens at home but visits Ann Arbor’s cat café to reduce stress.

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Credit Lisa Barry
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A rescued cat up for adoption at the tiny lions cat café in Ann Arbor.

Manager Hailey Hamel says that is one of the goals of the Ann Arbor Cat Café, doing what they can to help visitors enjoy the calming presence of cats.

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Credit Lisa Barry
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One of the rescued cats up for adoption at the tiny lions cat café in Ann Arbor

Whether it’s for relaxation or looking for a pet, Ann Arbor’s Tiny Lions Cat Café and Adoption Center welcomes visitors six days a week, Tuesday through Sunday, and charges $4 for a half-hour visit and $7 for a full hour, with the money going towards care and feeding of the rescued cats, hoping to find a new home rather than remain… hidden in plain sight.Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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