CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - If you hate cats, it might not be the first place on your list of new places to visit. Although, cat enthusiasts suggest maybe spending a little "one-on-one" time with the fur babies at Mac Tabby Cat Café might change your mind.
"You can tell, people feel lighter when they walk in. They're smiling the entire time they're in there," said owner Lori Konawalik.
It's exactly the atmosphere she hoped to create when she first envision Mac Tabby a year ago.
She was also hoping for a place where cats without permanent homes could find people without permanent cats, and the two would fall in love.
The café, at 516 East 15th St. in Charlotte, is setup like a coffee shop. Comfortable chairs and sofas await patrons as does coffee and kombucha drinks. The café doesn't serve food, but hopes to serve alcohol soon.
Right now the café is home to several cats looking for forever homes. Although it just opened this weekend, already its mission is on target. The first official match was made today as Lisa Barciszewski and her two sons came in to adopt a cat they'd met this weekend.
"He just kept coming to the rug that we were playing on and he just kept coming back to us. And I have an affection for orange kitties anyway," Barciszewski said.
Santiago went home today with a new family and a new name, 'Blaze'.
"The concept of Lori's café is so awesome because you can hang out with the cats and get to know them. He was the one we were drawn to so we decided to just go ahead and do it," Barciszewski said.
Mac Tabby Cat Café requires appointments because Konawalik doesn't want to crowd the room with too many people for fear of stressing the cats.
Wednesday afternoon, more than a dozen people were inside Mac Tabby relaxing on the floor, petting and playing with kitties.
While Konawalik was fearful of just how her concept might be received by the public after her first few days in business, her fears have subsided. Almost every single appointment slot has been booked with the exception of one hour.
For more information, check out their website at mactabby.com