Father-Daughter duo Matt and Selena Hubbard have brought cats and coffee to Fountain Square with their newly opened Nine Lives Cat Café.
The cat café opened their doors on Jan. 28 after partnering with the Humane Society, bringing in eight adoptable cats and giving them all forever homes in the first week of business.
“They’re both two things I really loved so it seemed perfect,” Selena said. “They’ve been popping up around the US so I’m like, okay Indy really needs one of these because cats and coffee!”
One side of the café is cat-free like your typical coffee shop where you can study and work. The other side is full of cats. You can bring your coffee, your laptop and study while petting kittens. There is a $3 charge for half an hour and $5 for an hour. These charges help offset the cost of running the room and goes to caring for the cats. Selena wants everyone to make a reservation before coming in to see the cats as it has been packed since opening and only 12 people can visit the cats at a time.
Fountain Square has one of the highest rates of feral and stray cats, according to Selena, making it a great opportunity to teach people in the neighborhood about adopting. Nine Lives Cat Café works as a sideline adoption site off of the Humane Society’s campus. The employees are also trained to use the same guidelines at the cat café as the Humane Society would for taking care of their cats.
Any cat that you may fall in love with at the café is up for adoption. Just let an employee at the café know you’re thinking of adopting and they will show you the application. The Humane Society takes it from there. It usually takes the Humane Society two business days for them to conduct a phone interview, according to Selena.
The cat café has a handful of therapeutic benefits. It’s a wonderful way to come and relax from a hard day, especially during times when the cat room isn’t overbooked. It’s also an amazing place for someone who can’t have a cat, whether that’s because of their lifestyle or a disability. There are toys and catnip available for free to give the kitties.
“I’ve really liked seeing how complete strangers can all go inside a room together and talk and bond over cats and coffee. They don’t know each other but they’re all talking to each other on their way out. It’s been cool to see that community build,” Selena said.
Barista and cat caretaker, Amber Keel, saw the opportunity to work at Nine Lives last year and applied immediately. Keel thought the idea was incredible. She had once visited a cat café in Montreal, loved it, and knew this was the job she needed.
Her favorite part of the job has been “everyone’s response to it. The joy you see on people’s faces when they’re in there playing with cats.”
Keel also makes special drinks for the humans on the coffee shop side. They serve the usual coffee house drinks such as lattes, mochas, cappuccinos and hot chocolate. Selena says that their chai lattes have been a huge hit during the first week of business. The café also sells pastries and bakery items from Whisk Bakery in Greenwood. There are even vegan options from Ezra’s Enlighten Café in Broadripple. Nine Lives hope to have lunch items in the near future.
The café is also in the process of making study packages for students to stay in the cat room without having to pay every hour. Being so close to a handful of colleges, Nine Lives is looking to stay open late during finals week so you can come in, relax with the kitties and pass classes.
Be on the lookout for events that Nine Lives will be putting on in the near future including cat yoga and cat movie night.
Stop into Nine Lives Cat Café for a purr-fect time with the smell of coffee and kitten snuggles. Stay tuned on their social media to see which events they are hosting and make sure to try the chai!
Woman with cat: Stephanie Smith