Christchurch couple fundraising for Garden City's first cat cafe
Cat lovers in the Garden City could soon have the purrfect place to grab a cup of coffee.
Husband and wife team Alyssa O'Connor and Nate Ball are in the planning stages of Christchurch's first cat cafe, to be called Catnap Cafe.
The high school sweethearts, who have been together 11 years, aim to open the cafe early next year.
Those in the market for a moggie will be able to adopt some of the cats at the cafe, while the other kitties will be permanent fixtures.
O'Connor said the couple, who volunteer for Christchurch Cat Rescue, wanted to re-home even more cats.
"It's a really good way to get people to interact with cats that they're potentially going to adopt."
As well as cats, they plan to offer vegetarian food and coffee.
"We also want it to be a really cool place for people to go."
Their kickstarter campaign, which was launched on Wednesday, raised more than $4,000 in its first day. They are aiming to raise $25,000.
The couple had been in touch with the council about health and safety and the SPCA for an animal-welfare plan.
The pusses would not be able to lend a paw in the kitchen, as the main requirement was that they were kept separate from food preparation areas, but people would be able to cuddle a kitty with their coffees.
Though plans were well underway, the partners were yet to pounce on the perfect venue.
Ball said they were looking for somewhere central, but “if we find a really great place in a suburb, then we’ll go for it”.
He said they had fostered their "fair share" of kittens through cat rescue, which they were not supposed to get too attached to, "but obviously that's not possible".
Their cat Juno was a foster they could not let go of.
There are currently no cat cafes in Christchurch. New Zealand got its first in Auckland in November 2015. Since then, several have opened in the North Island.
The concept originated in Taiwan in 1998, but quickly became popular in Japan, where most people's homes are too small for pets.