Papa’s Cat Cafe: Columbia, MO
Address: 14 S 2nd St, Columbia, MO 65203
Phone: (573) 449-2287
Hours: Tues-Sat 10:30-21:00; Closed Sun/Mon
Entrance Fee: $10/hr includes beverage
The Old Man & the Kitty: Review of Papa’s Cat Cafe
Even before I visited, I knew I was going to love Papa’s Cat Cafe.
I’ve seen a wide variety of concepts during my travels on the cat cafe circuit, but Papa’s Ernest Hemingway theme especially delighted me. The author (nicknamed Papa) wrote many classics, but his memoir, A Moveable Feast, which recounts his time as a young journalist in 1920’s Paris is one of my favorite books.
More importantly, Hemingway was a cat lover and famously kept polydactyl companions at his home in Key West, Florida. A polydactyl has six or more toes on each paw (vs five in the front). Hemingway named his cats after famous people, and the keepers of the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum (which I have also visited) carry on that tradition today.
MacKenzie and Ryan Kennedy are the proprietors of Papa’s Cat Cafe in the central Missouri university town of Columbia. Before opening their cat cafe, both were high-school teachers. MacKenzie will continue to teach while Ryan manages the cafe.
There were 17 cats the day of our visit, all provided through a partnership with Boone County Animal Care, the only local rescue group that focuses solely on cats. They are dedicated to helping pets find loving homes while also focusing on TNR (trap, spay/neuter and release) as an effort to reduce the overpopulation of cats and kittens.
After we checked in and ordered our coffee and snacks, we entered the cat room and introduced ourselves to Shelby, a former student of MacKenzie’s and friendly cat room attendant. We had such a fun time chatting with Shelby (a self-admitted four time ‘foster fail’, which means she ended up adopting her fosters!), and we want to recognize her helping us interact with the various kitties and for answering all of our questions.
Frankie, Pedro and Corde are the cafe’s full-time residents, with Pedro being a polydactyl in keeping with the Hemingway theme! In addition to the residents, there were 14 adoptable fur babies in the lounge that day, including mischievous ginger AJ, gorgeous tabby Meeka (pictured below luxuriously stretched out on the rug in front of the fireplace) and special sweetheart Mirage, who is blind.
The facility is lovely and well-designed. Clean, bright and beautiful, they have nailed the Hemingway vibe perfectly with dark floors, contrasting crisp white walls and accenting tropical pillows plus a palm cat tree.
The kitties and the space aren’t the only things to love about Papa’s. The coffee is AMAZING, sourced from Fretboard, a local roaster. Fretboard trained the staff in proper barista technique and it has paid off- patrons sometimes come in just for the coffee. I also ordered Madelienes served with chocolate dipping sauce. Perfection!
Papa’s is truly one of those special cat cafes you must visit! With it’s inviting interiors, outstanding coffee, fabulous felines and some of the nicest darn folks you’ll ever met, a visit to Papa’s, much like a Hemingway novel, is an experience to be savored and cherished.
Date Visited: 8/11/18