Nestled in at 35 West Market Street in Red Hook, NY is the cutest café you’ll ever find yourself in. Morgan’s Cat Café doubles as a vegan café, serving up delicious comfort food, and a shelter and adoption center for cats. As you walk in, a small and bright vestibule contains signs directing you as to how you can spend some quality time with the lounging cats in the free-roaming enclosure. The enclosure being mostly windowed, you can see all of the cats playing or relaxing as you walk from the vestibule into the café proper. Along with scrumptious food, there are a number of cute and quirky kitty treats and trinkets, literature, and adorable cat-themed cupcakes and cookies.
Executive Director Bobbi Jo has been rescuing animals for about 24 years. Her idea for the cat café started as a desire to open a vegan café and also as a legacy project for her daughter Morgan, who the café is named after, due to a serious medical issue that Bobbi Jo faced in 2015. Bobbi Jo wanted to provide people with a new and better way to interact with adoptable cats in a low stress environment. Thus, Morgan’s Cat Café was started in July 2016 and has since rescued approximately 65 cats. The operation Bobbi Jo has is relatively small, but every cat counts. They focus heavily on the quality of care each individual cat receives and the smaller size allows for excellent monitoring of each cat that comes through their doors and out to their forever homes. The café is a non-profit organization and is run completely by volunteers. Morgan’s cat café is partnered with a number of rescue organizations, many of which are in New York City, and are where a number of their rescues come from.
Two rescues in particular had our attention that day: a pair of grey striped tabby kittens. These kittens were part of a litter of five that, just hours old, were left in a dumpster behind Taconic Farms Labs of Germantown NY. The kittens were placed inside of a bag with dead mice and rats, presumably, from the lab that breeds rodents for use in other laboratories. Bobbi Jo got a call from an employee of Taconic Farms telling her about the kittens in the dumpster and, with her help, all five were nursed back to health. Bobbi Jo and her daughter Morgan bottle fed the kittens but, eventually, another cat stepped up and became a foster mom. This cat even started producing milk for the kittens! The two kittens left at the café are the only two of the litter that have yet to be adopted, but hopefully that will soon change.
Bobbi Jo is doing a great job living off a wonderful motto she mentioned to me, which is her desire to “never profit from the slaughter of an animal”. Her next goal is to open a cat wine bar upstairs from Morgan’s Cat Café, and also try her hand at a vegan food truck. Keep an eye out for such business ventures of Bobbi Jo’s and, of course, try to head over to Morgan’s Cat Café in Red Hook, NY. Maybe you’ll even meet the newest member of your family.