I thought it was about time I told you of my favourite places to go for a chilled out hour or so with cats, tea and fabulous food.
The Purrple Cat Cafe on Trongate in Glasgow opened at the end of 2017 and now houses 26 rescue cats along with some of the most friendly staff and comfy sofas you can find. Previously a bank, its the perfect place to provide space and security for the kitties who are homed there, allowing them access to the public cafe itself or to go downstairs for a more private, peaceful get away if they need it. It even has it’s own little kitty medical bay and vet in case of any situations that might require it!
My first visit was back at the start of the year and I’ve been almost every week since, having signed up as a Platinum Member of the cafe. I’ve started to get to know the staff and the cats and each time I visit there is always something different going on, be that in activities or the cats play.
On Monday evenings, the cafe has a two hour session known as Meat-Free Monday where they serve vegan food and drinks. Attending these sessions I’ve discovered I LOVE oat milk in my tea and I’ve tried various different vegan meals and cakes, including mac and cheese, lasagne and scones. I’d love to go vegan eventually – I’m already vegetarian and I’ve found a few substitutes I like but cheese and eggs are currently my biggest issue.
The cafe also hold monthly yoga classes, camera clubs and express book clubs which I am a regular attendee. Yoga is so much fun with the cats trying to get comfy on your mat or chasing one another through the bodies as you’re trying to stay relaxed and calm. The camera club is run by a photographer who helps you take the best shots of the cats using whatever camera you have available. It’s quite good if you’re a beginner and he provides lighting to get sharper images. The book club reads short books that have so far been cat themed and then spends an hour analysing the story and comparing the cats in the books to cats we each know and love.
On Thursdays, there is a quiz with prizes from the cafes merchandise selection – mugs, pens, badges, key-rings and clothing. I’ve attended this a couple of times and even won once, bagging myself one of the mugs!
I guess I should introduce you to some of my favourite cats. As I mentioned earlier, there are 26 residents of all ages and they each have their own little characters but a few of them have won me over slightly more than the others. You can see most of the cats on the cafe website under ‘Our Cats’ – click on the photos to learn their names and a little about them.
First up is Arran, named after the Scottish island and brother to Skye and Islay. On my second visit, I wore a fake fur gillet and I had barely even managed to sit down before Arran hopped up and started padding on it. He sat on my lap for some time and became my best friend at the cafe. I make sure to say “Hello” and “goodbye” to him on each visit, along with a bit of a fuss.
All the rest of my favourites, I’ve just realised, are ragdolls! They’ve each won me over at separate times and the first of them was Gilbert. He’s one of the elderly cats and affectionately known as Grandpa Gilbert by staff and members. He’s pretty much always curled up in a basket somewhere looking cosy and having a little snooze. He loves to have to his paws rubbed and also a chin tickle and I can’t help but go over to him and give him some love every time I visit.
Around April/May time, the cafe adopted 5 new kittens – you’ve seen some them in the photo earlier of the yoga class. Rocket, Groot, Nebula, Quill and Drax are flame and blue point ragdolls. When they joined the cafe they were so young that they spent most of the day asleep in their crate and only came out to play during special members only sessions. Now they’re getting pretty big and while they still sleep a lot, they also play a lot more and I enjoy running string up my leg so they climb up onto my lap.
Last up, and the most recent of my favourites is Tilly. She another of the elderly gang but a little more active than Gilbert. She’s mostly just walked by on my visits to the cafe, but recently she stopped for a fuss and a chat, as well as showing me a box she had found under the reception desk. Since that day she’s been more amicable with me and doesn’t take a wide berth when my hand goes anywhere near her.
Aside from the cats to fuss and fall in love with, there is also a huge variety of amazing food to eat. From paninis and sandwiches to curries and lasagnes, the freshly made meals are cooked to perfection and I never leave a drop left on the plate because its so tasty. The cafe also hosts a range of amazing cakes, catering for all sort of dietary requirements. The scones (vegan or regular) with jam and cream or the rainbow cake have to be my favourites. So soft and delicious.
The cafe even offers to host parties or events for you. I’m in the process of arranging my 30th Birthday celebrations with them, and I’m looking forward to going to their Hallowe’en party – still need to figure out what my costume is going to be!
Despite all the wonderful food and drink, it has to be said the cats are my favourite part of the experience. Sometimes they’re not as active, but its still nice to just sit in their presence and have a quiet drink. Other times they’re playful and you end up running around the cafe with string or passing a ball between other visitors for the cats to chase.
One of my favourite parts of going to the cafe is when the Licky-Licks come out. I imagine it is also one of the favourite parts of the cats days too. Customers get a little dab of the treat on their hands and the cats go wild trying to be the chosen one to get to lick it off. The video below shows one of the times I got to hand out a small part of the happiness.
The cafe is open from 9.30 in the morning until 8.30 in the evening and has hour long sessions which are bookable on their website. If you book two consecutive sessions you get to stay the half hour between each session too, so you end up with 2 and a half hours of kitty time – and plenty of time to check out the cake selection.
I have been to a couple of other cat cafes, but I’ve always found this one to be my favourite. Maybe that is because it’s my local, but I find that I have made some furrever friends there and there is always something going on to get involved in. It’s the perfect mix of cats and socialising for me, and I’m very lucky to be able to go as often as I do (even if I would like it to be more often!).