You guys. Tucson is getting a cat lounge. 😻
For just $10 an hour, you can cuddle kitties in a bright, comfy lounge across the street from the Beyond Bread on Campbell Avenue.
The cats living at El Jefe come from Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter and Sanctuary. That means they have their shots, are spayed and neutered and totally adoptable. Right now, El Jefe Cat Lounge has 20 feline residents, says Tiffany Lee, who co-owns the lounge with Jeff Wiese.
"They are personable cats," Lee says. "Hermitage picked out the ones that will be more comfortable being exposed to lots of people."
All of the adoptions will go through Hermitage.
"We're essentially fostering them until they get adopted," Lee says.
Although you can find cat cafes and lounges around the world, the concept became particularly popular in Japan and Tokyo, where many people are unable to keep pets of their own. Only in the last five years or so has the cat cafe and lounge popped up in the U.S.
"I have an empty nest, and when my daughter went to college at the University of Arizona, she took the cat," Lee says. She was living in Chandler at the time and navigating a few challenges. "I thought it would help if I could cuddle with a cat," she adds.
So she went to La Gattara, a cat lounge in Tempe. It was purr-fect.
In addition to booking lounge hours, El Jefe, 3025 N. Campbell Ave., will host yoga classes, movie nights, comedy nights, meditation classes and private events, among other activities.
You'll also be able to purchase a few pre-packaged snacks and drinks and cat-related merchandise.
Make a reservation at the cat lounge to play with kitties of all breeds. Do not bring your own pets. The 20 cats currently living at El Jefe range in age from 1 to 12 years old.
"This is a great way to make a good personality match," Lee says. "They have more space, so you're probably going to get more of the personality that you'll get when you take them home."
Twenty people can sign up for a sneak peak meditation class at El Jefe Saturday, Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. and on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 6 p.m.
For more information about El Jefe Cat Lounge, visit eljefecatlounge.com.