Sound purr-fect? Cat cafe coming to Cleveland

CLEVELAND- Lilly’s Chocolates, a neighborhood staple, is moving to a new place on Schaff Road next month.

So what happens to the space which is right in the heart of Tremont?

Why not fill it with balls of string, laser pointers and a small herd of cats?

Cleveland’s first cat cafe, affoGATO, hopes to open in July.

"We're going to have a little cafe where people can come and enjoy themselves and then we're going to have a lounge where people can play with the cats and enjoy the natural light up front, and we're going to have some desks and books and so people can study and relax," co-owner Eddie Crespo said.

In order to have a cat cafe, you need a supply of cats. That's where the Cleveland Animal Protective League comes in.

The league is working with the cafe to have adoptable and sociable cats ready to take up residence.

A cat out of a cage is a far different animal than one that's waiting in a shelter.

"At a place like a cat cafe people can go and really see the cat in a different environment, out and about and really interact with that cat and get to know it a lot better. The employees at affoGATO will also get to know the cats a lot better and be able to help us make really good matches," said Cleveland APL President Sharon Harvey.

Cat cafes are a big hit in Asia and have been popping up in many cities in the U.S. since 2014.

Owners Eddy Crespo and Mandy Miller say Clevelanders are due for an afternoon of cat-puchinos and a warm friend in their lap.

But the couple says they want their place to be a little bit more than just a meeting place for animal lovers.

"We want to collaborate with everyone in the community, so for the cat lounge we'll be collaborating with the Cleveland APL;  our shop portion we'd like to have goods from local merchants and artists for our cafe. We’d like to have a local coffee company, so just everything we can bring together from the community we would like to," co-owner Mandy Miller said.

Miller says there are days when you just need a cat in your life, and by connecting cats and community they're hoping for a perfect blend of everything.

The affoGATO cafe has a GoFundMe to help with the opening costs and to explain how this all works.

More information about the cafe, here.