It has been two years since I first shared with y’all about our Kitty Café event, and I thought that now would be a good time to give you some updates and videos. After all, the internet was create as a platform for cat videos.
And since I now have you thinking about cat videos, here’s the video that I made from last year’s Kitty Café:
Now on to the updates:
It is still my favorite event of the year. It helps that I’m a cat person. So if you’re not a cat person, then your mileage may vary.
Attendance numbers! I totally forgot to share that in my original post, but now I have several years to give you a better idea of our results. We are a small library and having a dozen people show up is a successful event for us. Actually, if anyone shows up we consider it a success because even if it’s one person, then we have a chance to create a wonderful memory for him or her. But I digress.
The first year we had 142 people attend. The second year we had 80. This year we had 177!
This year we finally hit on a room configuration that works. We got rid of every possible hiding spot for the kittens, and the Nebraska Humane Society workers brought an easily set-up cage (without a top) for the kittens to retreat to. It was basically their safe zone. Once the kittens were in there, no one was allowed to try to pet or play with them – you could only watch them. It’s also where the litter, food, and carriers were kept.
We also got rid of the cafe tables that we tried last year, and even removed most of the chairs around the room. We kept maybe ten up around the periphery. This was perfect for the more elderly of our visitors and provided a place for coats (even with the air on, there were so many people in the room that it was on the warm side). Having the chairs around the periphery also freed up room for people to form circles on the floor. This allowed us to make sure every group had “kitten time,” and easily move the kittens from group to group.
That said, for the first time this year, we had to make people wait to enter the “kitten zone” until people left. Thankfully, wait time was less than ten minutes, and for around a dozen people.
Since making it clear that you wouldn’t be able to leave with a kitten from the event, we didn’t get a single complaint.
We finally connected with our local coffee shop, and they provided the coffee. It is much better than what we make, and we even ran out this year and had to make an emergency coffee run.
We did have one parent complain that we didn’t have non-coffee drinks available. We’ll take that into serious consideration for next year and discuss it as a team, but I have a feeling we might advertise that you can bring your own lidded drinks.
I decided to gussy up the decor this year. After all, this was the first time many of our guests were visiting our library, and I wanted to try and convey what a special place they’d come to. I created a new sign to both welcome and say goodbye to our visitors. Click on each image below to download a pdf for you to use:
I also printed and cut out large cat heads to sprinkle around our meeting room’s walls. Not only were they cute, but they hid a myriad of damage that our walls have suffered throughout the years. I also printed and cut out the words Meow! Meow! Meow! and Kitty Café to post in the room. I thought that this would provide fun backgrounds for photos/videos. Next year I think that I’ll add Gretna Public Library’s to the Kitty Café sign because, well, branding.
And now to my favorite decor: floating kitties in coffee cups!!!!! Squee!!!!! I made a dozen of these images featuring the logos for the Nebraska Humane Society, our local coffee shop, and our library. Then we printed out the front/back images onto cardstock and spent an hour cutting, cutting, and more cutting. And then we took string and glue (I recommend Aileen’s Turbo Tacky Glue), and sandwiched the string between the two cutouts.
When that was done, we hung them up in our entryway so that it immediately set the tone for the event (i.e. that it’s going to be awesome). And after it was over, we gave the Nebraska Humane Society workers their choice of these kitties-in-cups. They were thrilled to hang them up at the shelter (bonus advertising for all!!!).
I bet you’re like “Oh how I wish that I could have kittens in to-go coffee cups at our Kitty Café event.” ::wistfully looks out window::
Do I have great news for you: you can have your own kittens in to-go coffee cups at your Kitty Café event! I went ahead and created/saved the two dozen images for you to add your own logo(s) to!!! Click on the image below to get a zip file full of kitten cuteness in jpeg form:
Please know that I’d love to hear from you in the comments or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or would like to share your experience of having a Kitty Café in your library!
Finally, I’ll leave you with our 2017 Kitty Café video: