This isn’t my first cat café post – cue in my previous posts on New York’s Meow Parlour and Paris’ Café des Chats. It’s not even my first post about Crumbs and Whiskers – see post on the launch of its kickstarter campaign. But it is my first post on DC’s eagerly anticipated cat café since it opened. And it’s my first post since actually going there!! My friend Cecile who writes The Worldly Bites has Gentlemeow Club member status so we snagged 2 weeknight spots during opening month and went to go play with the kittiens last night. Let me take you through our experience at Crumbs and Whiskers…
Cat café is actually a bit of a misnomer when it comes to Crumbs and Whiskers. Yes, there’s cats. Plenty of them actually. But it’s not really a café at all. It’s more of a space to hang out with cats. The 2-story Georgetown house on O Street is actually quite narrow. The foyer, despite the best effort of the resident cat-greeter and of the café’s bubbly owner Kanchan Singh, is not really the most welcoming area. Upon checking in for your appointed time slot, you’ll be asked to sign a waiver if you haven’t already done so online and shown a quick menu of drink items, like coffee, that can be ordered and delivered from the place across the street. Unlike at Meow Parlour, you’re not required to disinfect your hands or take off your shoes, which is good because I’m not sure where you’d be able to store them at Crumbs and Whiskers. I’ll be curious to see how they handle coats this winter… After glancing at the house rules that are stated on the entrance wall, cat-lovers can make their way through the first floor or up the stairs to find a spot to settle at. Which is easier said than done. By the time Cecile and I arrived, at 6PM on the dot, and checked it, all the seats at the café were occupied by either a sleeping cat or a lady desperately waiting for a cat, any cat, to wake up.
Quite frankly, Crumbs and Whiskers felt crowded. The cats looked peaceful and relaxed. Most were sleeping, which is what cats do, and that seemed amazing given how and busy everyone was around them. The minute a cat would wake up or show any willingness to play it would be surrounded by 5 girls all trying to get its attention. At Meow Parlour, in New York, my friend Caitlin and I sat and chatted peacefully while sipping the cups of coffee we had brought in from the Parlour’s coffee and macaron shop around the corner. A handful of other people were doing the same, playing with the occasional awake kitty that would deign pay attention to them for a few minutes before hopping off to a higher spot. Same in Paris’ Café des Chats, which actually is more of a tea-house than a café and serves a full menu of food items since, you know, the French aren’t as uptight about food regulations 😉 At both, patrons seemed to be enjoying each other’s company, in a nice place that just happened to have a lot of cats. At Crumbs and Whiskers it felt more like people were only there to see (and play with) cats.
All in all, I’m glad I checked out Crumbs and Whiskers but I probably won’t be back until the hype dies down a little. And when I do go back, I’ll pick a time slot that will be less busy, like the middle of the day on a Tuesday for example. But I’ll definitely encourage you to visit if you’re looking to adopt a cat (or more), though, again, not on evenings or weekends. All of the resident-kitties at Crumbs and Whiskers are available for adoptions through the Washington Humane Society and 9 of them have already moved on to forever home, which is really great given that the café has only been open for a month. As for me, if I want to get ignored by a black cat, I might save $10 and stay at home for now 😉