Visit the library, cuddle with a cat in Cat Cafe

May 9, 2019

Prepare yourself for cuddly, furry and purring bundles of cuteness to take over a portion of the Downtown Spokane Library – the kittens are coming for the library’s first pop-up Cat Cafe.

The drop-in event is from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday at the library, 906 W. Main Ave.

“Folks can stop by and enjoy some free coffee and play with some adoptable kittens,” said library programming specialist Kathryn Illback.

The event is being held as part of the library’s National Pet Week celebration. The week includes pet-themed story times and there was a session on making your own pet toys. The library will show the “Aristocats” movie at 4 p.m. today.

“We’re just doing some pet-themed events all week long,” she said.

Illback said it was her idea to have the Cat Cafe this year.

“This was sort of my brainchild,” she said. “I’m a dog person, but cats and librarians go together perfectly.”

The kitties will have their own special area so they have room to play and use the litter box if necessary. People can drop in for a few minutes or stay for some quality cuddle time.

“I think it should be a fun event,” she said.

Shelters fill up with kittens every spring and this year is no different. All the kittens at the event will come from the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service and will be available for adoption. The experience also will help socialize the cats, Illback said.

“I hope that people who aren’t in the market for an adoption will stop by anyway,” she said.

All Spokane Library branches are collecting pet supplies for SCRAPS this week as part of National Pet Week. People who bring in donations can have their fines waived, Illback said.

Last year was the inaugural celebration of National Pet Week and library patrons donated 900 items to the Spokane Humane Society. This year’s collection will benefit SCRAPS.

Needed items for kittens includes clay litter, canned paté food, dry kitten food, kitten replacement formula and plastic cat toys. General shelter needs include dog and cat beds, pet dishes, plastic dog toys, paper towels and dry cat and dog food.

“SCRAPS has been great to partner with,” she said. “They’re very excited about it.”

Illback said she hopes the first-time event goes well and that it can return next year. “This is the first time for the Cat Cafe,” she said. “We’ll see how it goes. I hope it’s something we can do again in the future if it’s a success.”