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Mumbai: At India’s First Cat Cafe, Enjoy A Hot Cuppa In The Company Of Rescued Cats & May Be Take One Home

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If you meet little Marshall, a lovely white cat with patches of grey here and there, it would not take you long to fall in love with him. It is impossible to imagine that not more than a year ago, he was discovered on the streets counting hours to death, with one side of his face gorily injured and infected by maggots. With endless open wounds all over the body, it needed weeks of constant treatment, medication and care for him to purr once again. His rescuers, the dedicated volunteers at Cat Cafe Studio, were in despair, but feisty Marshall proved them all wrong by becoming this meowing, jumping, cuddly ball of fur. 

About Cat Cafe Studio

Marshall is one among the thirty to forty stray cats currently housed in Cat Cafe Studio in Versova, Mumbai. Amidst the cacophony of the sleepless city, this cosy piece of heaven offers you coffee with the company of the cutest little cats. The founders of this first-of-its-kind coffee shop in India also run a non-profit foundation that rescues hundreds of helpless cats from the verge of death.

Cat Cafe Studio
Chai, coffee and cats

“A lot of them are amputees, some are partially or completely blind or even paralysed, but they are the most loving creatures you will ever come across,” shares co-founder Charu Khosla with Efforts For Good.

 

Hundreds of stray cats have been rescued

Since 2008, sisters Mriidu and Charu Khosla and their friend Jason Moss have been actively rescuing stray cats from in and around Mumbai. Injured, sick or born with disabilities, these kittens had little hopes of survival in the brutal world where they were treated as ‘undesirable’. The trio nurtured them with 24X7 supervision and raised them to recovery. “In a few years, we were fostering over a hundred cats. We approached our friends, family members and relatives to adopt them but it was not long before we ran out of space to contain all of them,” shares Charu Khosla with Efforts For Good, while talking about the launch of Cat Cafe Studio.

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2,00,000 meals served
Emergency funds sent to 350 families, 75000+ meals served, 150+ ration kits and sanitary pads distributed

The concept of keeping cats in cafes, restaurants and other public places was already popular in Europe, Japan and America. Mriidu Khosla proposed the idea of creating a similar space in their very own city, which incidentally, turned out to be the first in India.

Cat Cafe Studio
The first cat cafe in India

Cat tales that melt your heart

Started in 2015, Cat Cafe Studio shelters these feeble felines and offers them up for adoption to caring families. Till they find their foster parent(s), the cats warm up the homely interiors of Cat Cafe Studio, where an increasing number of visitors are dropping in every day to have a tête-à-tête with the kitties.

“We started from the small balcony of our office space. Initially, we offered coffee and snacks for free as our sole aim was to get our cats adopted by pet lovers,” shares Charu.

Cat Cafe Studio
‘What are you up to, hooman?’

A few years ago, Mriidu and Jason found a kitten lying motionless in the middle of the road, after being hit by a car. Upon a closer inspection, they found the cat to be severely injured, but still alive. Hours of emergency surgeries later, the cat could be saved from the brink of death. “Phoenix is now all grown up into a beautiful cat and has also been adopted,” informs Charu.

Cat Cafe Studio
Louis was found helpless with a severe wound on his back

Salem is another one of the miracles at Cat Cafe Studio. Pitch black in colour, he was completely paralysed in all limbs. Yet he happened to be the nicest and had his own unique way of communicating with his eyes and meows. “It’s a wonder, but, even he was adopted into an amazing family in Bangalore,” she shares.



 

They are trusting ‘hoomans’ again

Phoenix, Salem, Marshall, Giselle, Louis, Ciel, Riya, Veronica, George and all others have their own share of scarring memories, to the extent where most of them were extremely afraid of the slightest human touch. But, now in Cat Cafe Studio, they have warmed up and opened themselves to trusting ‘hoomans’ again. They will most likely be found playing around, brushing their tails against you asking for a petting session or simply napping on your lap.

Cat Cafe Studio
It’s treat time!

The Feline Foundation

Amongst all other things, the Cat Cafe Studio offers an extensive range of beverages, snacks and finger foods as well.

“Every penny of our profits is entirely contributed to The Feline Foundation for rescue, treatment and imminent care of more and more cats every day,” informs Charu. In fact, the foundation also takes care of stray dogs who are in dire need of help.

Cat Cafe Studio
The foundation rescues stray dogs as well

The cats are open for adoption, however, to ensure the poor, little, rescued ones never have to undergo any more struggles, the willing individuals are interviewed and asked to interact with the cat they have selected. So far, all the adopted ones are loved, nurtured and cared beyond limits.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

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With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.
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2,00,000 meals served
Emergency funds sent to 350 families, 75000+ meals served, 150+ ration kits and sanitary pads distributed

Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
  • Reached 17,700 families
  • Supporting 12 community kitchen across India with 16,600kgs of ration
  • 77,800 food packets provided to migrant laborers and daily wagers walking on the roads across the country.
  • Provided direct financial support to 32 organisations
  • Made 42,800 cloth face masks
  • 24,900 cloth sanitary napkins produced
  • Produced 1500 litres of organic sanitiser

In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

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Quote
It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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