We’ve all heard of cat cafes. They’re old news now. Been there, done cat. And while the thought of sharing a cuppa and some downtime with some feline pals is a genius idea, an even better one is in the planning.
Great Kitten brings with it – wait for it – the promise of the world’s first cat cinema, cafe, and cat shelter. You may now commence hyperventilating, excited squeals, and jumping up and down on the spot while clapping your hands like an excited loon.
The idea combines Britain’s iconic drink, a good ol’ cuppa tea, with cuddly cats and films. Speaking to Paula and Will, the couple behind the idea, we got a few more details about what could possibly be the best place in London.
“Our vision is rustic – think a crackling fireplace, exposed stone walls, wooden beams on the ceilings, and comfy sink-in sofas,” they say. “We want our guests to come in, sit comfortably, and relax with a drink, a cat, and a movie – all in a homey, cosy, log cabin environment.”
The rapid rise and popularity of innovative independent cinemas in London such as Pillow Cinema or Hot Tub Cinema, plus a world craze about cat cafes last year make the pair certain that Great Kitten will be a hit, not only in London, but the whole of Great Britain.
A huge part of their ethos is finding a forever home for their cats so they never need to leave the cinema. The pair will work with local cat rescue centres to help find movie-loving moggies who want to stay for keeps.
“We want to raise at least £120,000 to be able to operate Great Kitten in London.”
There are a few details still to iron out. The pair know they’ll steer clear of hipster locations in the East End, seeking out something a bit more in tune to their target demographic.
I say come to Essex, personally. Nothing to do with where I live, or anything…
The couple are working on heath and safety regulations at the moment, and have in place House Rules for guests to abide by. Cat lovers will know not to wake a sleeping cat already, of course.
“We also want to give back to the community, and we’ll set aside one morning a week for children and adults who struggle with mental health issues (such as depression and anxiety), physical disabilities and life-threatening illnesses to pet the cats.”
All expenses will be covered from patrons’ donations, and their profits.
And what about the savvy couple behind the idea?
Paula is 25, and has a Master’s in Business Management from the University of St Andrews. Since graduating she’s worked both in technology recruitment for financial institutions, and as an Oil and Gas conference producer in London. Kittens couldn’t be further from her radar, but with such a solid career behind her, she’ll be heading up the concept with Will.
Will is 24 and has a 5 year successful track record in retail and sales management. He managed a well-known retail store at just age 19, before moving into a sales role in finance and then Oil and Gas recruitment in London.
“We both worked in London for 18 months where we saw first-hand the demand for constant innovation within London’s leisure and entertainment scene,” Paula says. “Seeing the increasing popularity of cat cafes around Europe, we combined our business acumen and our passion for animals and their welfare to create a concept that will not only attract attention and customers, but will also give back to both animal and human charities.”
Even though they’ve only just launched their social media campaign the idea seems to be taking off very quickly, with over 800 followers in less than a week.
Paula and Will have now relocated to Manchester, Will’s hometown, to work on the idea full-time. Great Kitten will start crowdfunding on May 15th.