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.