Jean Luc – Spokescat, Corporate Icon and Songwriter?

Village Cats

Long time readers of this column are familiar with my love for singing and gravy. I love to sing all kinds of songs (sometimes while waiting for gravy) and songs from 70’s – when my great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents were alive, are some of my favorites! The other day I was singing along to the classic hit Y.M.C.A. by the Village People and I thought – what if we could change those lyrics and make the song about cats at the Orlando Cat Café. Those of us “in the biz” refer to our beloved Cat Café by the initials of “O.C.C.” and so it seemed like a good match!

I have taken the liberty of re-writing the lyrics to the first two verse and the chorus from:

Young man, there’s no need to feel down
I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground
I said, young man, ’cause you’re in a new town
There’s no need to be unhappy

Young man, there’s a place you can go
I said, young man, when you’re short on your dough
You can stay there, and I’m sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time

It’s fun to stay at the YMCA
It’s fun to stay at the YMCA

Young cat, there’s no need to feel down
I said, young cat, bat your toys on the ground
I said, young cat, cause you’re in a new town
There’s no need to be unhappy

Young cat, there’s a place you can go
I said, young cat, when you’re filled with some woe
You can stay there, and I am sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time

It’s fun to stay at the O.C.C.C.
It’s fun to play at the O.C.C.C

They have everything for you cats to enjoy
You can play with a brand-new toy

It’s fun to stay at the O.C.C.C.
It’s fun to play at the O.C.C.C

You can act like a queen, you can have a good meal
You can scratch whatever you feel

Yes, I had to add the extra “C” to make it work but think of it as an extra cat (which is never a bad thing). So that’s as far as a I got. Here are the rest of the lyrics:

Young man, are you listening to me?
I said, young man, what do you want to be?
I said, young man, you can make real your dreams
But you got to know this one thing

No man does it all by himself
I said, young man, put your pride on the shelf
And just go there, to the YMCA
I’m sure they can help you today


Young man, I was once in your shoes
I said, I was down and out with the blues
I felt no man cared if I were alive
I felt the whole world was so tight

That’s when someone came up to me
And said, young man, take a walk up the street
There’s a place there called the YMCA
They can start you back on your way


Young man, young man, there’s no need to feel down
Young man, young man, pick yourself off the ground

YMCA, it’s fun to stay at the YMCA

Young man, young man, are you listening to me
Young man, young man, what do you wanna be?

YMCA, you’ll find it at the YMCA

No man, young man, does it all by himself
Young man, young man, put your pride on the shelf
YMCA, and just go to the YMCA

Young man, young man I was once in your shoes
Young man, young man I was down with the blues, YMCA

So, I am asking you, loyal readers, to help me with the rest of the song! Send your lyric suggestions (only clean lyrics please!) to and we will make an old song new again! Of course, I’m going to have to check with the folks at Sony as they own the copyright on the original song but I feel confident that they will let me sing it (just for fun!).

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Jean Luc’s Mail Bag

jean luc's february blog
Jean Luc here and as most of you know, January 22nd was National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day and so I am taking the opportunity this month to answer questions directed to me!
Q:  When I visit it says that there are 16 cats in residence, but I only counted 12?  Where are the other kitties?
A:  Excellent question!  The Orlando Cat Café is equipped with a “break room” for the kitties, sort of like an “employee lounge” where we can eat, drink, use the restroom facilities, and nap. If you don’t see everyone in the Cat Play Area it’s because some are “on break”. There’s a computer back there too so some of us use that time to “help” our human staff with their work while others watch Netflix or buy stuff on Amazon!

Q:  Where do the cats come from?
A:  All of our felines are provided to us by our rescue partner, SPCA Florida, and all are spayed/neutered, up to date on their vaccinations, and microchipped.  Plus, they are all ready to be adopted! Our adoption counselors sometimes have extra information on how we got to SPCA Florida, so don’t be shy about asking!

Q:  How long does the average cat stay before getting adopted?
A:  So…there is no such thing as an “average” cat (we are all “exceptional”!).  Some kitties have been at the Cat Café for as little as 5 minutes before finding their family and our longest resident was here for 6 months before she found hers. The important thing is that as long as they are happy and healthy, we don’t impose a time limit and the kitty stays with us until their purr-fect match is found (and that always happens eventually!).

Q:  When is the best time to visit?
A:  We like to sleep. A lot. Next to eating, it’s really our favorite activity! But we are MOST active the first 2 reservation hours (because we are excited to see you) and the last 2 hours before we close (because we are excited to be getting dinner!). #truth

Q:  Do I need a reservation?
A:  While reservations are not required, they are strongly recommended especially during peak periods which includes holidays, spring break, summer, weekends, and days ending in the word “day”. In other words, we are a popular bunch and in order to ensure a spot in the action, you should make a reservation. Also please note that reservations online need to be made 24 hours in advance.

Q.  Does everyone get along?
A:  Do you get along with everyone? Probably not. Same here! We are all checked out by SPCA’s Feline Behaviorist as the café environment is not every cat’s cup of tea (see what I did there!) but the ones that the Behaviorist feels would do well are sent to the much-coveted Orlando Cat Café.  Do we fight? I wouldn’t’ call it “fighting” –more like, “she’s touching me” sort of stuff. Like brothers and sisters. Or frenemies.

Q. What do the different colored collars mean?
A:  Red collars are girls and blue collars are boys. Sometimes you might see a yellow color (some would call it “golden”) and that usually means that you should “proceed with caution” (just like a traffic light!). Maybe that kitty doesn’t like to be disturbed while she is sleeping or doesn’t like to be petted on her back. When you see a golden collar, you should ask one of the Adoption Counselors before proceeding.

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Jean Luc Talks Next Box Office Hit

Purr-Person Blog

With Spider-Man: No Way Home breaking all sorts of box office records, it got me thinking – if a movie franchise can be built upon the idea of a guy (Peter Parker) getting bit by a genetically altered spider who then gains super-powers, wouldn’t the next logical blockbuster movie be about a person who sleeps next to his cat, inhales a bunch of fur and dander, and then gains feline characteristics? I know, right?


And so, my project for 2022 will be to write the screenplay for Purr-Person: Feline Fine. Purr-Person will, of course, star me as the cat whose fur is inhaled. I have several ideas for male leads including George Clooney (he probably needs a break from those twins), Benicio del Toro, Javier Bardin or Ryan Reynolds (experience with action movies). They all seem like fun guys to work with it.


Purr-Person will not have any super-powers “purr” se, but the protagonist will be equipped with cat-like powers including the following abilities:


  • Coming When Called – Purr-Person will have exceptional hearing.  A cats’ sense of hearing is remarkably superior to that of mere humans. This means that, like a cat, Purr-Person will be able hear sounds that people can’t hear on both ends of the spectrum, particularly the higher end. Like a mouse. Or a can opener. Or that “pop” that the can makes when you open it. So – Purr-person will be able to hear called BUT he will choose NOT to come.
  • Vomiting – while all humans can vomit, only Purr-Person can vomit up a perfectly formed hairball after 14.3 minutes of dry-heaving and deposit that hairball on a brand-new sofa, chair or other priceless heirloom. Not only that but Purr-Person will be able to, in a sea of hardwood, deposit that hairball on the one piece of carpeting in a 4,000 sq. foot area. Skill!
  • Sleeping – Purr-Person will have the ability to scrunch himself up into the tiniest of boxes to the point where it looks like he will swallow his own tail! He won’t necessarily do anything after that, but people will want to take pictures and post them online.
  • Litterboxing – Purr-Person will have the ability to dig and dig and dig and dig and dig in the litterbox to the point where he might dig his way all the way to China! And then once done with his “business” he will have the ability to track a bunch of litter all over the place which can be used to slow down his opponents!


In the first Spider-Man movie Peter Parker tries to use his superpowers to win money in a wrestling competition only to be stiffed by the fight coordinator when it comes time to collect his winnings. When the fight coordinator gets robbed, Peter chooses not to stop the assailant – even though he could have.  Later in the movie, Peter’s Uncle Ben does try to stop the robbery, but gets shot and killed and Peter learns the lesson “with great power comes great responsibility.” Only then does he assume the mantle and title of the superhero Spider-Man. Too much violence for my tastes.
In Purr-Person: Feline Fine, our protagonist will be able to actually wrestle (I love to wrestle!) and when it comes time to collect our prize (which will naturally be canned food) he will be able to open the can himself because he will be equipped with opposable-thumbs (something that cats wish they had!).  It’s really like this movie is writing itself!


I imagine the bidding war for the rights will be intense but ultimately it will be Lionsgate that wins because…well you know…See you at the movies in 2022!

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Jean Luc Returns on the Gravy Boat

Thankful Cat
I have a friend that we will call “Libby” because that is her actual name and she got married last month, or as we say at The Orlando Cat Café “meowied”.  Even though I was not invited to the wedding (I think my invitation might have gotten lost in the mail), I wanted to send her a gift as a token of my love and respect for her and also because I figured a gift might get me an invite.

After a quick Google search I found her registry. To be honest she registered for some pretty boring stuff – I mean there were linens to shed on and rugs to vomit on and various decorative items to knock off the counter, but nothing really caught my eye until I saw it…a gravy boat!

A seafaring vessel to navigate an entire river, lake, or dare I say — ocean of gravy! This was perfect. It not only made a thoughtful gift, but it was so practical and, if I played my cards right, I would get invited along for all sorts of adventures in a sea of gravy.

Long time readers of my column know that I usually devote my November column to my love of all things gravy and that love is personified on a day set aside at the end of the month called “Thanksgiving” which I refer to as “Thanks-for-all-the-gravy-giving”.

So back to my story. I quickly located the Orlando Cat Café credit card and bought the gravy boat and then, since I already had the credit card, started a search for “cat life jackets” (I know it will look dumb on me but safety is important) along with a captain’s hat and a waterproof catnip mouse. Then I sat back and waited for the Amazon delivery truck to appear.

And then at last he appeared carrying a box. A really, really small box.  Not the kind of box that could hold a seafaring vessel box. Confused, I clawed it open and found this:

Gravy Boat

And not this:


I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s very nice but there is no way that I can fit in this thing (not to mention Libby and her new husband who’s probably coming with us) and it doesn’t look sea-worthy at all! How is this a boat suitable for a gravy adventure? I gave the boat a one-star review for “deceptive advertising” and then sulked for three days (until my captain’s hat and waterproof catnip mouse arrived which perked me  up a little bit).

If anyone can help explain this mystery, please email me with the Subject Line: “Gravy Boat” and let me know where I went wrong.

In the meantime, I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. And enjoy your gravy. Or your boat. Or gravy on a boat.

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Jean Luc “Just Kitten” Around with Monica

Monica - Female, Born 4/13/20
This month, our mascot Jean Luc sat down with long-time Orlando Cat Café resident Monica to talk about kittens, Clear the Shelters and her wish to find a Purrfect Match. Here is their interview (which has been edited for length because these two can talk….and talk and talk and talk….)

JL:  Hi Monica and thank you for taking time away from your “kitten duties” to talk to me!

M:  It’s my pleasure!

JL:  So here we are during Clear the Shelters Month and I thought I would talk to you because you have been at Orlando Cat Café the longest while awaiting your purr-fect match, right?

M:  Yes – I have been at the café since April – just a few days after my first birthday,  and while I love being here, and especially tending to all the kittens, I would really like to find my forever home!

JL:  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

M:  Absolutely – I was born on April 13, 2020 and so I am still a youngster. My astrological sign is Aries and cats born on my birthdate tend to be gentle souls and that’s what I think I am. My human friends at the Cat Café sometimes call me stubborn because I come out to play and meet people only when I want to (and not necessarily when they want me to) but that’s because I am I am my own purr-son and make my own decisions. I would also describe myself as confident, loyal and genuine – also Aries traits! I tend to hang out in the back room, not because I am shy but because sometimes 1 or 2 or 3 of the younger kittens need me to mother them and I like feeling needed!

JL:  I have seen you comforting the kittens a lot – you really love them, don’t you?

M:  I do – it’s just in my nature, I guess.  Ideally my Purrfect Match family would adopt me AND a kitten for me to tend to!

JL:  And this is the purr-fect time for that during Clear the Shelters Month when adoptions are ½ off!

M:  Absolutely – my new family could take me AND a smaller friend home together and get TWO Purrfect Matches for the price of  one. And then I would not only get a family of my own, but a kitten of my own too! That would be the greatest!

JL:  Thanks for taking the time to talk to me Monica! I think you are a really cool cat and I think that September is going to be the month that you find your Purrfect Match!

M:  Thanks Jean Luc, gotta go now!  I think one of the kittens needs me…

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Jean Luc Says “Read Me a Story” – Please!

Kids Hour on Wednesday

As many of you know from reading my column over the last 4 ½ years, I love to sing. Specifically show tunes. What you might not know about me though is that I love reading too. Well not so much “reading” as sitting on books. Or magazines. Or newspapers. Or even an iPad. Basically, if someone is reading, I want to be there, and by there, I mean “there.”

So, you can imagine my pleasure to announce that Kids Hour at the Orlando Cat Café has returned in partnership with Read to Sydney and the Kiwanis Club of Clermont. Every Wednesdays from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, children 12 and under along with their guardian, can come and read to the kitties, many of them who like books as much as I do! Admission includes reading with cats, kitty play time and a take-home craft project. Children are also encouraged to take a free book home from Read to Sydney and Kiwanis Club of Clermont’s lending library.

Since 2011, Read to Sydney has encouraged children to read, “One tail at a time,” using therapy dogs in settings such as schools, libraries, and other community events. The partnership with the Orlando Cat Café has allowed the Read to Sydney program to expand into the feline side and we are all excited about this partnership and inspiring children to read.

Truth be told, I did not get to meet Sydney, as she passed over the Rainbow Bridge a few years ago, but with the help of Sydney’s friends, her legacy has carried on! And with the help of our fur friends at the cat cafe, I think we might be able to form our own book club one day! I speak for all the cool cats and kittens at the Orlando Cat Café when I say that we all love being read to. And if you can’t yet pronounce a word or forget to pause at a comma, we won’t hold it against you because that’s how you learn. Believe me, we all had to learn exactly how to sprawl out on a book so that we could block the maximum amount of the text for the reader. It’s really and art. Just like reading!

The cost is $8.00 per person and reservations are highly recommended and can be made online at Donations of new books are always welcome and can be dropped off at the Orlando Cat Café. Where you can see me totally engrossed in a book…Or maybe a magazine. 

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Jean Luc Interviews Volunteer Teri C.

Volunteer Teri
This month, Jean Luc sat down with SPCA Volunteer Teri C. to talk about what it’s like volunteering at Orlando Cat Café through SPCA Florida.

JL:  Hi Teri and thank you so much for agreeing to this interview.

TC:  It’s a pleasure to be talking to you!

JL:  Even though we have, in accordance with CDC guidance, loosened some of our COVID safety protocols, just to be on the safe side I am going to lay on this chair and you can sit on the floor approximately 6 feet away from me, ok?

TC:  Uhm, sure…that would be fine.

JL:  How long have you been volunteering with SPCA and the Orlando Cat Café?

TC:  I’ve been volunteering with the Orlando Cat Cafe since January 2018.

JL:  I’ve known you for a very long time now!  What made you interested in volunteering at The Orlando Cat Café?

TC:  I’ve always been interested in working with animals. When we moved to this area in 2017, I began to explore options for volunteering and came across the Cat Cafe. My husband and I visited and loved it. I signed up right away for Volunteer Orientation!

JL:  It’s a tale as old as time!  One look and it’s really all it takes!  What do you enjoy the most about your job?
TC:  I love trying to match up people with the best cat for them. I especially like to try and find a match for the older and shyer cats. I just helped to get Gabby and Desmond, two older cats, adopted!

JL:  I loved Gabby and Desmond and I love that you helped in finding their purr-fect match!   What do you enjoy the least about your job?

TC:  Seeing cats who keep getting passed over. Most cats get adopted rather quickly; however, there are some that don’t. I’ve seen a few cats that seem to be sad and that makes me sad.

JL:  Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the animal welfare arena?

TC:  It is sometimes difficult because there are many cats that you want to bring home. The best advice is to continue to advocate for them all but especially the older, shyer, passed over ones.

JL:  I couldn’t agree with you more.  And at Orlando Cat Café you know they all eventually find their purr-fect match!

TC:  Yes, and that makes me so happy!

JL:  What do you like to do outside of work?

TC:  I am an avid Orangetheory Fitness member. I also love to travel. We haven’t been on many trips in the past year but hopefully we can start traveling again soon.

JL:  I don’t know anything about Orangetheory but I do know quite a lot about “Cookie Theory”.  If you want, I can explain it to you after this interview is over.

TC:  I would be very interested in hearing all about Cookie Theory!

JL:  Last question, because you are starting to look a little uncomfortable sitting on the floor – do you have any pets of your own?

JL:  Yes, I adopted Amber who I absolutely adore from the Orlando Cat Cafe back in 2018. She was adoption number 163. Now the Cat Cafe is over 1,300 adoptions! I like to think that I’ve been a big part of that success.

JL:  You absolutely are, Teri!  On behalf of all the kitties at Orlando Cat Café we thank you for everything that you and all the other SPCA volunteers do for us!

TC:  Thank you so much for this opportunity, Jean Luc!  And let’s hear about this Cookie Theory of yours…

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Jean Luc’s 5 Effective Habits for Cats

Cat exercising

I have a (human) friend who was (trying) to read the other day. This is the same friend who was also (trying) to work on her laptop the other day, you know before I started chewing on the edge of the screen. Anyway, she was (trying) to read Change Your Habits, Change your Life by Tom Corley.  Apparently, the book contains interviews of hundreds of self-made millionaires about their daily habits and compared the answers to 128 individuals with incomes less than $35,000. Or something like that – I really just got the gist of it while sitting on it and then licking the edge of the pages which really seemed to irritate my friend. She should read a book on stress relief maybe. Anyway, the book offers the usual pointers about changing habits and reading and exercising more, sleeping more (that one I can totally get behind), avoiding wasting time, building positive relationships, and so on.

This got me thinking about writing a book for cats on the same topic – only I would call it Have Your Human Change Your Litterbox, Change your Life, by Jean Luc. Since I am not sure I have the time or attention span to write an entire book, I thought I could juxtapose the habits of people with those of their cats. FYI – I learned the meaning of the word “juxtapose” by sitting on a dictionary one day!


  1. Reading – According to Corley’s book, 88% of successful people read at least 30 minutes or more each day. Mostly biographies and self-improvement book and surprisingly not 50 Shades of Grey.  It’s a well-known fact that cats can get the same bang for the buck just SITTING on a book, but for it to be really effective, it should be done while the human is trying to read it.
  2. Exercise – Seventy-six percent of people spend at least 30 minutes each day doing aerobic exercise.  Here cats and humans can work together because each time I jump up on the counter (which is aerobic activity) my human also gets up to get me off the counter.  So basically, cats can act as coaches in this area and create a win/win scenario!
  3. Build Positive Relationships – Successful people find a way to make connections with other highly motivated people and limit their time with negative people. I agree with this except I try to make connections with people with canned food and those that know how to operate a can opener (or have opposable thumbs).
  4. Pursue Specific Goals – Most wealthy people make detailed plans for every day and even every hour of their day. Eighty percent of them are “obsessed with pursuing goals” and focus regularly on both daily and long-term goals. This sounds stressful not only for me but for every cat I know. I would say that cats should “purr-sue” annoying someone (by perhaps sitting on their book or chewing on the computer) until they get a cookie.  Works for me almost every time!
  5. Sleep Well – Eighty-nine percent of successful people make sure to sleep at least seven or eight hours a night. Sleep is crucial to success; it impacts human creativity, memory and moods. I’m pretty much in agreement with this one, except I would say 22-23 hours is the target range for all cats – more if you are a kitten or a senior.

So, there you have it! Five tips for every cat to change their life. These five habits are not limited to attaining financial success like they are with humans, but they can be used to reach many other kinds of goals such as getting more canned food and even more cookies! And a having a more productive human in your life can definitely lead to a fresh litterbox on a more regular basis (see #4 – Pursuing Specific Goals). Finding a way to live our lives with these five habits can lead to significant changes in every area of our lives, but to be honest, if we don’t incorporate them, we will most likely be asleep and will hardly notice!


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Congratulations to Champ and Major – 1st Dogs of the White House

White House Cats

*Disclaimer – Jean Luc is not a political cat, and this is not a political column. It is a column both congratulating and welcoming Champ and Major Biden on their new home. I mean, you have to admit, for Major going from a shelter to living in the White House is a dream come true. I bet there’s nothing that those two can’t get away with!

Champ and Major have big paws to fill as they follow in the pawprints of many First Cats to who honored to have their litterboxes installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Here is a brief history:

President Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
Lincoln’s cats – Tabby and Dixie were the first cats to reside in the White House and possibly the first cats to throw up on the rugs in the Oval Office. It has been said that Lincoln made it a habit to play with kitties as a form of stress release -a favorite de-stressing technique of cat lovers, even today!

President Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881)
President Hayes owned the very first Siamese cat to arrive in the United States, who was, wait for it, named Siam! The Hayes’ also had a kitty named Piccolomini, which I assume they called Pickles for short, because Piccolomini is quite the mouthful. You know why the curtains have been replaced in the Mural Room since 1881? Pickles!

President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)
Teddy Roosevelt owned 2 cats – a six-toed cat named Slippers and another cat named Tom Quartz. Like her namesake (actual house slippers), Slippers could be found all over the White House, and would snooze in the hallway outside the banquet hall, where visiting dignitaries had to step around her to enter. Sounds familiar, no?

President Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
The Coolidge’s owned a bunch of cats! Tiger, Blacky, Bounder, Timmie and even a bobcat named Smoky. Blacky regularly enjoyed cream in a saucer and liked to hang out in the White House elevator, because really, who wouldn’t?

President Gerald Ford (1974-1977)
Gerald Ford’s daughter Susan brought along Shan Shein, a lovely Siamese cat, to the White House. Although the kitty didn’t really love Liberty, the family’s golden retriever, she loved to hang out in the Lincoln bedroom, usually under the bed. One thinks she probably saw a lot of interesting things in that room…

President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)
Misty Malarky Ying Yang—a sweet Siamese with another long name, resided in the Carter White House and was said to help daughter Amy practice her violin, probably while sleeping in the violin case.

President Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
Socks, one of the most well-known and beloved first kitties was so famous that he had a book and song written about him. And a website. But no plush doll.

President George W. Bush (2001-2009)
George W. Bush brought his family cat, India “Willie” Bush to the White House, although the family dog, Barnie, seemed to get all the limelight.

I am truly happy for Champ and Major and not even a little bit jealous because while they get to live in the White House and probably have a Secret Service Agent specifically designated to them who gives them cookies all day, I have a plush doll fashioned in my likeness!  They even have their own Instagram account with over 32K followers, which is frankly more than Jean Luc has! I mean, it’s not a contest or anything, but if you haven’t already followed us on Instagram, please do – and tell you friends too!

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Interview with Libby


This month Jean Luc sat down with Libby O., newest team member at Orlando Cat Café to discuss love…and litterboxes. Here is a portion of that interview:

JL: Hello Libby! Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by me. Do you mind if I sit on your lap but with my back towards you while we speak?

LO: Uh…sure…

JL: How long have you been with the Orlando Cat Café?

LO: I have been volunteering since August of 2020 and was lucky enough to join the team in November of 2020.

JL: I think it was back in July 2020 that the rest of the team discontinued the “unlimited cookie policy”. Any chance you might bring that back?

LO: I don’t remember hearing anything about that, but I can check…

JL: What made you interested in working at the Orlando Cat Café?

LO: I have always been a huge cat person, and when the Orlando Cat Cafe opened in 2016, I was actually living right down the road, so I was a frequent visitor and just loved being able to see all the different cats that came through and the environment was just so wonderful, for the cats and the humans! When I found out that the cats from the Cafe came directly from the shelter, it only made me love this place even more.

I had always dreamed of doing something like this as a job, so when the opportunity came, I could hardly believe it. It truly is better than I ever imagined, helping the cats find their forever homes and seeing the joy on people’s face when they meet their new furry friend, I could cry (happy tears) all day long!

JL: That’s really lovely. I’m not an expert but I think it would make you even happier if you could look into the whole unlimited cookie thing. I’m thinking something like a buffet set up with different flavors…

LO: I can definitely check with the other Team Members…

JL: What do you enjoy the most about your job?

LO: Is it too cliché to say literally all of it?

JL: I get that a lot…

LO: I would say just seeing the cats go to loving homes and the moments where the cats pick the people are almost too much for my heart to take. Sometimes people come in with no intention of adopting, just visiting, but suddenly a cat walks over to them and basically decides for the people that they have to take them home and then they do! Plus, I get to spend all day with cats, so I mean, really, BEST JOB EVER!

JL: I love your enthusiasm! I’m going to turn around and face you now! It’s really true that often times it’s the cats that pick their forever families and not the other way around. It’s almost like they have an inherent sense of who has the best cookies, don’t you think?

LO: Maybe…

JL: What do you enjoy the least about your job?

LO: It’s hard to pick anything, but if I had to, I’d say some of the cats that come through truly just capture my whole heart, and when they find their purr-fect match and get ready to go home, I get emotional knowing they won’t be there the next day yelling at me for some breakfast or stepping all over the computer when I’m using it. But it’s all okay because it just means they found their family; I just miss them when they’re gone!

JL: And…

LO: I guess I’d also throw in scooping cat litter, because does anyone really enjoy that? Hahaha!

JL: Everyone says litterboxes but the truth is the truth. I can’t say I blame you. You know you’ll always have me, right?

LO: Right!

JL: Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the animal welfare arena?

LO: I would definitely recommend checking out your local shelter, seeing if they have any volunteering available, because I had no idea really how to go about it in the beginning, and one day I just checked SPCA website and it said, “Accepting volunteer applications!” and the rest is history! You can make connections with places that might be looking for employment or find something you didn’t realize was an option, plus you’ll get experience in a shelter doing a variety of tasks that can help you in the future, even with your own animals!

JL: That’s excellent advice! Last question and let me just change positions while I dig my claws into your lap, what do you like to do outside of work?

LO: I am a huge concert fan, I am constantly purchasing my next ticket (usually Lady Gaga), or watching hockey, (Let’s Go Pittsburgh Penguins)!! I also am in the process of planning my wedding, so that definitely takes up a lot of “outside of work” time, but I couldn’t be more excited!

JL: Even though you are engaged, can you still be my Valentine?

LO: Of course!

JL: And you know what says “love” more than anything else?

LO: Absolutely – let’s get you that cookie!


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Jean Luc Gives Thanks

We are thankful for mew!
It’s November! For me, November used to mean one thing and one thing only – GRAVY. I LOVE turkey but I really LOVE turkey gravy. Those of you that have been reading this column for some time know about my love of all things gravy and November is usually the time that I devote my entire column to it.

But this year has been too serious to devote my column to gravy and so I thought I would instead focus on giving thanks and expressing gratitude, which is apparently another tradition of Thanksgiving (who knew?).

I have many, many things to be grateful for this year.  Here is just a sampling:

  • In 2020, we celebrated the 700th, 800th, 900th and even our 1,000th adoption at Orlando Cat Café.  I am very thankful for all the adopters out there that have opened their hearts and homes to our kitties.
  • I am thankful that we welcomed our 70,000th visitor to Orlando Cat Café.
  • I am humbled and grateful to have my own Plush Doll.
  • I am grateful that we set new records this year for kitty adoptions – 61 adoptions in the month of August!
  • I am also humbled that Lake County Florida awarded us our own “Official Day” on September 8th marking our 4th Anniversary.
  • I am thankful that after being closed for over 4 months, we were able to open in a new and safe way and that our wonderful guests have embraced these changes which are designed to keep everyone safe!
  • I am grateful to see our terrific yoga teachers Cyndi and Rick back and in-person as I love a good stretch.
  • I am thankful to all of our guests who visit, tell their friends about us, post on social media and send us donations of food, toys, beds and litter.
  • I am thankful and grateful to SPCA Florida and Minch Coffee Company for being such purr-fect partners and to Regina and Stefanie who manage all of our social media accounts.
  • I am also thankful and grateful to Heather who cares for us every day (and empties our litter pans!) and Paola who makes sure we are in tip top medical condition and to ALL the volunteers from SPCA who do everything to make the Orlando Cat Café everything that it is.
  • And lastly, to Jessica, who makes sure that everything runs smoothly every day.

On behalf of people and cats at The Orlando Cat Café , THANK YOU And Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving (and don’t forget the gravy!!).

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Jean Luc Interviews Heather

Photo of Heather

This month, I interviewed our newest Team Member, Heather E., on all things Cat Café.  Here is a portion of my interview:

JL: Hi Heather and thank you for taking the time to talk to me.

HE: It’s really my pleasure!

JL: How long have you been with the Orlando Cat Café?

HE: Just 3 months, I started in July.

JL: That’s when we reopened with a lot more policies and procedures to keep everyone safe, including temperature taking.  Did you know that we take our guests temperature differently than we take the cat’s temperature?

HE: Uh…yeah…I did know that…

JL: Well that’s good. What made you interested in working at The Orlando Cat Café?

HE: My love for cats. I have always been one for cats, since I was a baby.

JL: Well that’s something that we have in common!  I was a baby once too.  You should see my kitten pictures – they are absolutely adorable!

HE: I bet you were.

JL: What do you enjoy the most about your job?

HE: Learning each of the cat’s personality and finding their purrf-fect match! That is what I LOVE the most.

JL: Yes – I can understand that. We all have unique personalities. Do you think it’s time for lunch yet?

HE: No, I don’t. It’s only 8:10 a.m. You just had breakfast.

JL: OK. Maybe in a little while then. Where was I…oh yeah, lunchtime.

HE: No, it’s not lunchtime yet. Shouldn’t we finish the interview?

JL:  OK. What do you enjoy the least about your job?

HE: Watching my favorite kitties leave. All for selfish reasons, because it really is a wonderful thing to have them going to their fur-ever home.

JL: I can relate to that. Good news is that you will always have me!

HE: That is good news!

JL: Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the animal welfare arena?

HE: Understand that animals get sick and it’s hard to see that, but their recovery is blissful. People may tell you there are still cats without homes and on the streets, however the work you do does make an impact to the community, always !

JL: You know what else is true. Cats sometimes get hungry. That’s kind of sad too…What do you like to do outside of work?

HE: Usually some sort of project or craft. Currently planning my wedding for the end of the year.

JL:  Oooooh! A wedding. Very exciting. Looking forward to attending. Will you be serving fish by chance?

HE: The menu has not been finalized yet. Or the guest list…

JL: I understand. Last question – do you have any pets of your own?

HE: I have three kitties at home. All around the same age, 3 years old. Their names are Refrigerator, Beatrice, and Lil’ Baby. All of which are my world!

JL: Speaking of refrigerators…

HE: No. Not yet.

JL: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. On behalf of all of us here we are thrilled that you are part of the team!

~Jean Luc

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We’re Back!

OCC has reopened!

Hello fur friends!


The food dishes have been filled, comfy beds are out and the Cat Play Area is packed with the pitter patter of paws of again!  It’s been a looooong four months, but we are back open!  While it might look and feel a little different, our mission is the same, to facilitate Purff-fect Matches for our kitties and their prospective families.


And boy and boy what a first week we had!  Hectic to say the least – new policies and procedures in place to keep everyone (human and kitty) safe and sound – but I am beyond thrilled to report that 12 of our furry friends found their forever homes in the first few days of being re-open!  How great is that?  In addition to all of those adoptions, I am happy to report that 13 of our kitty friends were adopted by their foster families during their “Spring Break Vacation”.


This has been a most stressful time for everyone but if we can provide a little comfort, perhaps with a cuddly kitten and delicious cup of coffee then we are happy to welcome you back!


Stay safe everyone!


~Jean Luc

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The Road to Re-Opening

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Where did everyone go? I just woke up from a very long nap and there is no one here. No guests. No kitties. No nice people taking care of us. Everyone is gone!


As many of you know, and as I just recently found out, we have a very serious situation here in Florida, and all through the world, with Coronavirus.


Orlando Cat Café temporarily closed our Kitty Play Area on March 20th per (purr) Governor DeSantis’s order and while technically we could have opened back up with limited capacity, we have not yet done so. Over the last many, many weeks, we, like most businesses have been working on a new set of policies of procedures to keep both our Team Members and our Guests safe. We had planned to reduce the occupancy of the Cat Play Area from 20 to 10 guests to adhere to social distancing, and were of course, requiring face coverings for everyone, Team Members and Guests alike. We even had new procedures for kitty toys to avoid any potential cross contamination.


We were all set to reopen on Monday, July 6th and even had a member of the United States Congress coming out to pay us a visit that day, however, in light of the horrific numbers coming out of the State of Florida over the last 7 days or so, we have decided it would be irresponsible to re-open at this time and so we will remain closed for at least another couple of weeks.


We are, of course, disappointed, but we also feel a sense a responsibility not only to our Team Members and Guests but also to the general public at large and must also do what we feel is right. While we have been working hard to institute new policies and procedures to keep everyone safe, we now find ourselves grappling with re-opening at a time when Coronavirus infections are skyrocketing and sending out a message to the public to “come out and play with cats” when that might not be the safest thing to do right now.


We are the first Cat Café to open in the State of Florida, and also one of the most successful in the country in terms of both our adoption rate and number of guests that have visited. At the time we had to temporarily close we had adopted 820 cats and kittens to their forever homes. The Orlando Cat Café is a valuable partner to SPCA Florida both in terms of revenue (100% of adoption fees go directly to SPCA Florida) and also in terms of reducing the cat and kitten population that are currently housed in the shelter.


And so, like many other business, we are in the process of “pivoting”. We will be re-opening soon, however, when we do and for the foreseeable future we will be asking our guests to come visit us ONLY if you are seriously interested in adopting. We will be enforcing an “appointment only” policy so as to reduce the number of guests in and out during the day. Normally we love to have our guests come in and play and cuddle us with us, but now that find ourselves in middle of surging infections, we will be making some changes for the protection of everyone – Team Members, Guests and yes…even the kitties.


We are confident that eventually things will return to “normal” but for now, we are choosing to remain closed to do our part, however small, to help everyone stay safe and healthy.


On behalf of everyone at the Orlando Cat Café. We thank you for your incredible loyalty and support and we can’t wait to see you again soon.


Stay safe,

Jean Luc

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JL Blog: An Interview with Volunteer, Sara!

Cat Cafe Volunteer Sara

This month, Jean Luc sat down with SPCA Florida Volunteer Sara C. to talk about what it’s like volunteering at Orlando Cat Café through SPCA Florida.

JL:  Hi Sara and thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. Do you mind if I keep my back to you for some of the time, so that it appears that I am ignoring you?

SC:  Hi Jean Luc and yes, it would be an honor to have you pretend to ignore me.

JL:  How long have you been a volunteer with the Orlando Cat Café?

SC: I’ve been volunteering at the Orlando Cat Cafe since July 2018. It has been a pawsitively wonderful experience!

JL:  I can totally understand that! What do you enjoy the most about your job?

SC:  Getting to see our cats and kittens find furever homes! I also enjoy meeting cat lovers from all over the world. I’ve met lots of folks from the U.K. (they certainly love their cats), as well as Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Japan, Canada, Puerto Rico and many others.  #CatsWithoutBorders

JL:  I love to ignore people from all over the world, too!  What do you enjoy the least about your job?

SC:  It’s sometimes difficult to manage young children who can’t wait to run and grab every cat or kitten they see (some are wonderful with the cats, but others not so much…).

JL:  Yup…I’ve experienced that myself!  And thanks for not saying “litter pans” because everyone says litter pans, but you know what, a cat’s gotta do what a cat’s gotta do.  Do you know what I mean?

SC:  Absolutely!

JL:  Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the animal welfare arena?

SC:  Always be willing to help wherever needed. There are a lot of tasks that need to be done to make the Orlando Cat Cafe successful.  Also, remember the importance of great customer service. Being pleasant – even when reviewing the ‘rules’ with guests – is critical to making our visitors have a meowvelous experience. A smile and conversation go a long way.

JL:  When you say there are a lot of tasks that need to be done, you’re talking about litter pans, aren’t you?

SC:  I am afraid I am.

JL:  What do you like to do outside of work?

SC: I enjoy art (especially cat art) of any kind. I also enjoy sewing and doing crafts, reading and going on walks.

JL:  I enjoy walking ON sewing and also walking on arts and craft so we should definitely hang out sometime!

SC:  I would love that!

JL:  Last question before I let you go — Do you have any pets of your own?

SC:  Yes! I have two sweet kitties – Maya and Lily. They are both girls and both 8 years old. They were born in California, but ‘retired’ with my husband and me four years ago when we moved to Florida. They are definitely sun-loving cats with unique purrsonalities – love them!

JL:  Thank you so much Sara and thank you for doing all that you do for all the kitties at The Orlando Cat Café!

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Love is in the Air (and in the gravy!)

Human Love Versus Cat Love

It’s February and by the looks of the displays in almost every store, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.  With an entire day devoted to love, I felt I should devote my monthly column to the same topic – specifically how Cat Love is different from Human Love.

We begin with a story. A good friend of mine (we’ll call him Connor because that’s actually his name), told me a story about how his human mom was about to feed him, but tripped and went flying across the room and ended up in a bloody heap (don’t worry – the human is totally fine now). After she cleaned herself up she lamented to Connor about how he didn’t really seem to care or “love” her, and didn’t seem too concerned about her injuries, but was more worried about the food situation (remember she stumbled while in the sacred time of feeding him).  Connor and I had a pretty good laugh about this because apparently the fall was EPIC (like, YouTube worthy) and because the human thought Connor didn’t love her as much as he did the food. The story is funny because it’s true. Of course, he cared more about the food!

You see – human love and cat love are very different in both how we experience it and how we show it.  There are three things I love in this world – 1) turkey gravy (see my November column for more information) and 2) French Fries (my mother loved them so much she gave me a French name!) and 3) pretty much every other food. You’ve heard of people who cook because “food is love”? I eat because I love food!

Humans play pretty fast and loose with the “love” word.  I hear this all the time:
“I love the music from Aladdin.”
“I love my children.”
“I love the new red sweater I just bought.”

Cats love food.  We might “like” things including the music from Aladdin (I do like to sing show tunes), and your children (provided they offer me treats), and your new red sweater (it is super comfy to lay on), but we don’t necessarily love any of those things, including you.
You may think that when we snuggle up next to you to sleep or meow to be picked up or sit on your lap that we are expressing our love, but those are simply signs of affection, which is not the equivalent of love.

I have demonstrated this using a Venn Diagram above. Notice how the circles do not overlap. This is because human love has nothing in common with cat love, except when it comes to food.  When you look at it is really simple and extremely relatable!

And so Connor’s mom, and everyone else out there – there you have it – Jean Luc has answered the question that has plagued humankind for years. Do we “love” you?  The answer is “no”. We are extremely fond of you. We like you a lot. We are affectionate towards you. But we love food, and only food.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Jean Luc Rings in 2020!

Happy Mew Year Image

2020! A new year! A fresh start! I have been hearing a lot lately about New Year’s Resolutions, which is apparently a “thing” that people do at the beginning of the New Year. Something about taking stock and starting the new year fresh – replacing bad habits with good habits. Most of the comments I hear have to do with people’s weight, but sometimes it’s hard to hear since they have a muffin in their mouths. Personally, I like a big lap to sit on and a big soft tummy to make biscuits on is even more pleasant.

Anyway, since I am a cat, and therefore, perfect in every way, I didn’t think I could partake in this New Year’s activity, but upon further reflection, I have come up with a few things that maybe I could improve upon. Maybe.


Resolution #1 – Scratching Post
I know that the dining room rug is not a horizontal scratching post. I really do know this, but it is SO tempting to use it. First of all, it’s so big and roomy and I can use a different piece of it every day. Also, the material is so pleasing to my paws. Yet…I know that my scratching posts are mostly vertical and that the stretch is good for me. And you’ve put them all over the house – even next to the dining room rug. I’m going to try…really try…and not to use the rug anymore. At least while you are looking. Maybe just at night while you are sleeping…


Resolution #2 – Coming When Called
Did you know that cats have superior hearing? It’s true – a cats’ sense of hearing is remarkably superior to that of humans. This means that we can hear sounds you can’t hear on both ends of the spectrum, particularly the higher end. Like a mouse. Or a can opener. Or that “pop” that the can makes when you open it. Cats’ ears are uniquely designed to draw sound into the ear canal, which enables us to hear sounds well. So…what I’m trying to say is that I CAN hear you when you call me. I just choose not to come. I don’t really know why. Sometimes I’m napping. Sometimes I’m just comfortable where I am. But mostly, I just don’t feel like it. Kind of like you when you answer, “What?” when someone calls you and you don’t feel like getting off the couch. We’ve all been there, but I’m “there” pretty much every day of the year. This year, I’m really going to work on coming when called. Even if there is no cookie reward. And if not sleeping. Or really comfortable where I am. Or just don’t feel like it.


Resolution #3 – Litterbox Habits
This is a delicate subject and I will tell you that I have never had a litterbox “accident” which is something that I’m proud of. That being said, there are some litterbox habits which perhaps I can improve on. Sometimes I get really excited about the digging part and I dig and I dig and I dig and I dig, like I’m getting ready to poop in China! All the way to the bottom of the box, until there is not a speck of litter there…because by the time I’m done it’s all outside the box. I guess I can be a little overzealous sometimes and this behavior could be toned down a bit. It does a make big mess and I probably don’t have to step in the giant Mount Litterbox that is now outside the box and then track that all around the house. This is something that I can definitely work on and will beginning with my first poop of the New Year (too much information?).


Resolution #4 – Sharing
Admittedly, sharing is not my strong suit. Not when it comes to food. Or toys. Or food. Or your favorite sweater that I like to lay on (you have others). Or food. Or your lap. Or food. Or the box I am sitting in. Or food. I’ve always followed my own version of the Golden Rule, which I have re-interpreted from, “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them to Unto You”, to be more like, “What’s Mine is Mine and What’s Yours is Mine. Mine. All Mine.” So sharing is something that I can work on this year – except when it comes to your sweater. And food.


Speaking of fresh starts (as I did at the beginning of this column), if you haven’t been in to see me lately, come on in. The Kitty Playroom has undergone a major renovation with new paint, a new kitten cabana (replacing the kitten tent) and all sorts of new swag from t-shirts to hoodies to tank tops and of course, me in plush form (no home should be without one).


On behalf of everyone at Orlando Cat Café, we wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

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Jean Luc Gives Thanks at Thanksgiving

Cats Eating

It’s November! For me, November used to mean one thing and one thing only – GRAVY! I LOVE turkey but I really LOVE turkey gravy. Those of you that have been reading this column for some time know about my love of all things gravy and November is usually the time that I devote my entire column to it.

But this year has been a momentous one for the Orlando Cat Café and so, I thought I would devote this column to giving thanks and expressing gratitude, which is apparently another tradition of Thanksgiving (who knew?).

I have many, many things to be grateful for this year. Here is just a sampling:

• In 2019 we celebrated the 400th, 500th and yes, even 600th adoption at Orlando Cat Café (and we are getting very close to celebrating the 700th). I am very thankful for all the adopters out there that have opened their hearts and homes to our kitties.
• I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to the many media outlets that covered us this year from Visit Orlando (Buzzworthy Coffee Shops), Pulptown (Best Places to Self Love), Orlando Weekly (Lose yourself in a day trip to the quaint Clermont), Orlando Date Night Guide (Orlando City Guide, Best Things to do in Clermont), (Unique Orlando Bars and Restaurants), WFTV ABC News Orlando (Locals Only: Painting and Palettes Class), Telemundo (Clear the Shelters), YOGA Magazine (Cover Story – Yoga with Cats), Allison Walker Torres (On the Town: 5 Things to Know About the Orlando Cat Cafe), Lola the Rescue Kitty Blog, and Unique Eats and Eateries of Orlando for including us.
• I am thankful that we welcomed our 60,000th visitor as well as our 10,000th Facebook Check In.
• Gratitude abounds to Sweet Tomatoes on Hwy 192 in Kissimmee who partnered with us for the entire month of June to promote Adopt a Shelter Cat Month.
• I am grateful to Caroline Kellam from Pawsitive Strides Pet Sitters for teaching important lifesaving skills for cats (and yes, dogs too) in our 2-day Pet First Aid and CPR Class.
• I am humbled and grateful to have my own Plush Doll (click here to purchase online!).
• I am grateful that we set new records this year for kitty adoptions – 14 adoptions in one day during our Mega Adoption Event and 15 cats in one week in July.
• I am also humbled that Lake County Florida awarded us our own “Official Day” on September 8th marking our 3rd anniversary. Thank you South Lake Tablet for covering our proclamation!
• I am thankful to all of our guests who visit, tell their friends about us, post on social media and send us donations of food, toys, beds and litter. I am grateful for friends like Lilli K. who matched the adoption fees for my friends Poochie, Nunu and Reeces and for Eric D. who made a $400 donation to the SPCA Florida’s Guardian Angel Fund during their Black Cat Special Event.
• I am thankful and grateful to SPCA Florida and Axum Coffee for being such purr-fect partners and to Regina and Stefanie who manage all of our social media accounts.
• I am also thankful and grateful to Kim who cares for us every day (and empties our litter pans!) and Paola who makes sure we are in tip top medical condition and to ALL the volunteers from SPCA Florida who do everything to make the Orlando Cat Café everything that it.
• And lastly, to Jessica, who makes sure that everything runs smoothly every day.

On behalf of people and cats at The Orlando Cat Café, THANK YOU and have a wonderful Thanksgiving season (and don’t forget the gravy)!

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Interview with Volunteer Chris

Interview with Volunteer Chris

This month Jean Luc sat down with long time SPCA Volunteer Chris S. to talk about cats, volunteering, and the joys of scooping litter.JL:  Hi Chris – it’s so nice to see you again!

CS:  Hi Jean Luc, you are looking well and it’s a pleasure to be doing this interview with you.

JL:  Do you mind if I sit on this chair and you can sit on the floor?

CS:  Sure…that would be ok.

JL:  So you were involved with the Orlando Cat Café since before we were officially open! I remember seeing you when I was just an intrepid reporter!

CS:  That’s right!  I was involved with the initial set up and opening of the Café and have been here since opening day in September 2016.

JL:  You really don’t look a day older than you did back in 2015 when we first met! I think that working with cats keep people young! What are your duties as a volunteer?

CS:  As a volunteer I welcome visitors to the Café’s Cat Play Area and I also assist with cat care and socialization of the cats.

JL:  It sounds like a lot of fun! What’s your favorite part of being a volunteer?

CS: I enjoy being around the cats and meeting guests from all over Florida and really all over the country as well as guests from so many foreign countries that visit the Café. I also like to see so many adoptions and cats finding their fur-ever homes. I really love it when someone comes in and isn’t necessarily planning to adopt and then falls in love with a wonderful feline and they become part of their family. Cats pick their people!

JL:  That is really the truth. One of the greatest cat fallacies is that people are in charge of their cats, when it’s really the other way around. Do you have any advice for people who maybe want to be a volunteer or get involved in animal advocacy?

CS:  Be realistic. Not every cat is going to be a success story. There are chronic illnesses and sometimes a “failure to thrive” with young kittens. It’s sad, but I try to stay focused on the positive and the adoptions. Plus, the fact that our cats have a wonderful, interactive and stimulating environment at the Cafe as they wait for their fur-every homes. Jean Luc…Jean Luc?

JL:  Oh sorry – I was just looking at some new toys that just came in and I got distracted. Where were we?

CS:  Stimulating environment.

JL:  Exactly!  What do you like to do outside of your volunteer work at Orlando Cat Café?

CS:  Outside of my volunteer work at the Café, I enjoy yoga, including Yoga with Cats at Orlando Cat Café, reading, photography, walks in nature, and traveling with my husband and best friend. I am retired now and am really enjoying this chapter of my life.

JL:  Nice! It sounds like all roads lead back to kitties! Do you have a kitty of your own?

CS:  I do! Jake is my tabby cat and is 5 years old. We found him as a result of a “free kitten” sign and he is the best cat ever! I’ve been a cat owner since my early teens and living at home. They bring so much joy and companionship to your life. I can’t imagine not having a cat in my home.

JL:  I think it’s cute that you think you found Jake when in reality it is Jake that you found you! Have Jake’s people call my people and maybe we can do lunch sometime!

CS:  I think he would like that.

JL:  Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and also, thank you for allowing me to sit in this comfortable chair during this interview.

If you are interested in becoming part of the dedicated volunteer at Orlando Cat Café, you can get more information here. Who knows, you may get the chance to be interviewed by Jean Luc himself!

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Jean Luc Interviews Paola

Photo of OCC employee, Paola
This month Jean Luc had the purr-leasure of sitting down with Paola C., who will be celebrating two years with Orlando Cat Café next month!  Here is our interview:

JL:  Hello Paola and thank you for taking the time to sit down with me. Do you mind if I sit on your lap while we talk?

PC:  Hi Jean Luc, it would be honor to have you sit on my lap!

JL:  We’ve known each other a long time now, but can you tell our readers what it is you do here at the Orlando Cat Café?

PC:  Well…my official title is Veterinary Technician/Adoption Counselor but I also consider myself a Gatekeeper and Cat Slave. Really I do it all!

JL:  Cat Slave? Well, to be fair I would think that anyone that works with cats knows that they actually work FOR cats right?

PC:  Right!

JL:  And aside from the pleasure you must get seeing to every cat’s needs and wants, what do you enjoy the most about your job?

PC:  I enjoy being able to use my Vet Tech skills by making any sick kitty better and then seeing them go home.

JL:  That’s beautiful. I currently have a growly feeling in my tummy which I think could be helped by some cookies, would you be able to make that go away?

PC:  Perhaps after this interview is over.

JL:  OK – I think I can wait. What do you enjoy the least about your job?

PC:  We have had a couple of kitties that have come back to us after their adoption because they were not a good fit. All three of the Adoption Counselors at the Orlando Cat Café work very hard to make sure that when a kitty gets adopted, it’s a good fit and they will not be returned. Even though only a few have come back to us, I don’t like when that happens because I feel bad for the cat who had a home and then lost it. Most of the time it’s because the new family did not give the cat adequate time to adjust.

JL:  That is sad because I know that you all work hard to ensure that that doesn’t happen and when it does, I am sure you are disappointed. This is making the empty space in my tummy feel emptier. Do you think a cookie would help?

PC:  In a little while. Do you have another question?

JL:  Let me consult my notes…Yes! What advice do you have for people who want to work in the animal welfare arena?

PC:  I’ve been working with animals for 18 years now and it is not an easy job. You have to be mentally & physically willing to put an animal’s life before yours. Many times I’ve had to stay at work late, go to work earlier, or skip lunch. There will be times you will feel like it’s a thankless job but when you start noticing that an animal went from not eating, not playing and not feeling good to full recovery that’s the moment you realize it is all worth it and the feeling is extremely rewarding.

JL:  Skipping lunch must be awful. I’ve never skipped a meal, and up until now, have never skipped a snack…

PC:  I will get you a snack in a moment.

JL:  Because it will be extremely rewarding?

PC:  Yes.

JL:  What do you like to do outside of work?

PC:  I love spending time with my husband by going to concerts, theme parks, the beach and the movies.

JL:  Very nice. I like to nap. And eat.

PC:  I know.

JL:  Final question – do you have any pets of your own?

PC:  After losing my six cats due to old age (one passing away every year for six years straight) I am on an ownership hiatus for now.

JL:  You know I have the pull to set you up with a couple dozen kittens right?

PC:  I am really ok with just taking care of you and your friends at the café for now.

JL:  Speaking of which, weren’t we discussing cookies at some point?

PC:  If you get off my lap I can get you a cookie.

JL:  Deal!  Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me about your job here.  And thank you for everything you do for the kitties at The Orlando Cat Café.  And thank you for the cookie!

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