Inside Portland’s (One and Only) Cat Lounge

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This winter was the rainiest in Portland since Joe and I moved here, with a streak of 25 days of rain in December — the wettest month ever recorded in the city’s history.

I grew up in rainy Victoria, B.C. and love the Pacific Northwest, so I’m no stranger to wet days. But this was a LOT of rain. Combined with the short days and dark looming by 4 pm, the weather started to feel a touch limiting. Working from home, I love/need to spend time outside, especially on weekends, partly for the dose of nature and fresh air but also so I don’t become a total hermit. (I am definitely one of those half introvert/half extrovert people…but winter tends to play up my introvert side.)

What are your rainy season activities? Joe and I have been watching lots of movies (not to mention the series Master of None, Making a Murderer, and Transparent season two), reading books, playing board games (in which he continues to kick my ass at scrabble, don’t get me started), de-cluttering the apartment…but recently a twinge of cabin fever had me craving something totally different. I wanted to visit somewhere in Portland we had never been, in a part of town we don’t usually hang out in. I wanted to shake things up and do something weird. I researched a bunch of options and came up with a random list of ideas for what became our ‘weird day’ mission, which happened to coincide with Valentine’s Day.

Top of the list: Purringtons Cat Lounge.

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Purringtons is a cafe in Northeast Portland where people go to hang out with cats. Cat cafes are popular in Korea, so I had heard of them while living there, but I never visited one which, looking back, was a total missed opportunity. Now they’re popping up all over North America! Purringtons opened just over a year ago, and it’s Oregon’s first-ever cat cafe.

As I wrote about in this post, our cat Cleo passed away in the fall, and I miss her terribly. We plan to adopt again in the future, but are holding off until we move to a new home. So it wasn’t hard to convince Joe that an hour chilling out with a bunch of random cats was the perfect plan for our Valentine’s Sunday. :)

Purringtons is divided into two rooms (one with cats, one without) and has a menu with coffee, tea, beer, wine, and light snacks.

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IMG_1844The interior of the cat lounge has a bit of space-cat theme going on, with soft lighting, cat toys, cat sleeping pods, and of course, cats. There were around 10 there when we visited. You’re not supposed to pick the cats up, so my vision of getting a feline cuddle fix didn’t manifest, but it was still fun to watch them play and give them a few pets.

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IMG_1822.jpgYou can hang out and watch the cats while sitting on benches…

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or a giant two-person armchair.

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The coolest part is that all the cats at Purringtons are adoptable through Cat Adoption Team. You can view them beforehand on the cafe’s site, and there are binders to leaf through with all of their info at the cafe. One of the staff members told me that the cats there are usually adults, rather than kittens, which I thought was wonderful, since the exposure increases the chance these grown cats will be adopted. (Kittens typically have no problem getting adopted out of the shelters, since they’re obviously extra cute.) I am admittedly guilty of the kitten bias. I also love long fur and beautiful cat faces, which is how we came to choose Cleo out of all the kittens on Petfinder back in 2012…

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I know, it’s crazy how cute she was.

Ahem, back to Purringtons…the cafe also holds events such as Purr Yoga (“cat therapy and yoga”), Meowvie Night, and private parties. They allow just 15 people into the cat lounge at a time, so it’s a good idea to make a reservation.

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The fee to visit the cat lounge is $8.00, which gives you an hour with the cats. (Or you can hang out on the other side and just watch them through the window for no fee.)

Since opening, Purringtons has found homes for 153 cats. How great is that? It’s a much more relaxing way to spend time with an adoptable cat than at the shelter, and watching how the cats behave in an atmosphere that’s more like a home likely helps people decide if the cat is a good match for them.

If you’re a cat lover or know someone who is, I definitely recommend visiting. It would be such a fun surprise outing for kids or someone who needs a dose of animal therapy, and it’s a perfect rainy Portland winter activity.

And if you’re looking for what to do after (sans kids), you could always follow in our footsteps with this:

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(legal in Oregon since July of 2015)

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and a couple of these.

IMG_1848.jpgRainy-weather cabin fever fixed.

xx ~C.

*This post is #2 in the Portland Bloggers Roundtable (PBR) series. PBR is a group created to unite the diverse voices of Portland-area bloggers. We meet around the city monthly, choose a local topic to write about, and share each other’s work. :)

Check out fellow Rountabler Emily Olson’s post “Curing Your Northwest Winter Blues” here

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