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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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

‘Happy Fridge’: The Key To Bridge Food Wastage And Hunger Problem In India

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Rahul Khera and Gautam Jindal, volunteers (aka hunger heroes) at Feeding India, were among the many Delhi NCR residents accustomed to seeing hungry children pick up half-eaten burgers or stale sandwiches from the dustbin and savour those with the brightest smiles. Like many others, they also had the will to promote equitable food distribution but was perplexed about the approach, until they learnt about the community fridge initiative which has gained unprecedented success in Saudi Arabia and few other European countries. Meanwhile, community fridges were already being installed outside restaurants or in public places in a handful of cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Kochi.

Say Goodbye To Throwing Away Excess Food Because Now You Can Donate The Food To The Needy – Happy Fridge

Thank you for overwhelming response for the Happy Fridge concept. We need more funds from you to install more fridges like this across India. With the limited funds avaialble Feeding India was able to install three fridges only. Kindly donate here http://bit.ly/happyfridge

Posted by The Logical Indian on Saturday, October 27, 2018

Needless to mention, with a shocking 103rd rank in the Global Hunger Index and a food wastage estimate of around Rs 58,000 crore – India was perhaps the best country to implement such an initiative. With Gautam’s help, an enthusiastic Rahul invested his own savings to install a ‘Happy Fridge’ outside his residence at Sun City, Sector 54 in Gurgaon. Set up in 2017 by these Feeding India volunteers, the fridge in Gurgaon has inspired the NGO to scale up the project across India.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

‘Happy Fridge’ fostered many smiles

It didn’t take long for the local residents to learn about this laudable endeavour. They welcomed it, as wastage of excess food was a recurring problem in almost every household. “Intimating the localities was no mammoth task, thanks to social media. However, it was difficult to spread the word among those who actually needed the food,” shares Rahul, who went from auto stands to slums, inviting rickshaw pullers, ragpickers or roadside vendors to avail the community fridge any time they feel hungry. “The security guards of our residential complex played a huge role in explaining how the fridge works to the beneficiaries,” he adds.

The operational and maintenance costs of the ‘ happy fridge ‘ are being maintained diligently by the community members.

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Making memories, sprouting awareness

“I remember one young man who had arrived from a village looking for some menial day job. Somehow he had run out of his paltry savings and had no money to buy one decent meal a day. For about a month, our happy fridge was his solace, till he earned his first salary from a housekeeping job,” shares a jubilant Rahul.

In another incident, a truck driver returning in the wee hours of midnight was starving after a whole day’s hard work. He had run out of cooking fuel at his home, so our fridge was at his rescue.

“The residents keep all sorts of palatable dishes in the happy fridge, ranging from dry snacks, fruits to cooked meals. Sometimes, they even keep raw vegetables, to ensure not a single bit of good food ends up in their trash while other people go hungry to bed,” reveals Rahul.

On an average, each happy fridge supplies around 10-15 meals in a day. The gratitude and pure smiles of the hungry souls after a fulfilling meal are more than enough to continue to motivate Rahul and his neighbours. In fact, inspired by him, many other communities in the Delhi-NCR region set up community fridges in their areas.

Feeding India will set up 500 Happy Fridges

Since the past few years, Feeding India has been a prominent organisation working in the forefront to solve the hunger problem in India. Primarily, they were involved in redistributing leftover food from weddings and parties among the underprivileged people in different cities of India. Their volunteers, better known as “Hunger Heroes of India”, worked actively to bridge the gap between food wastage and food crisis.

“We used to get a lot of calls from individual households to collect their excess food. However, unfortunately, we lacked the manpower and planning to launch our programme on a door to door basis. We were desperately looking for an alternative when we learnt about the community fridges,” shares Srishti Jain, co-founder of Feeding India.

After interacting with Rahul Khera and other campaigners of community fridges, Feeding India decided to amplify this extraordinary project throughout the length and breadth of India. Presently, they have launched the #FightFoodWaste campaign to install 500 community fridges – nicknamed ‘ Happy Fridge ’. So any passer-by – be it a kid going to school without a lunchbox, or a labourer returning home late at night with no promise of a dinner – can now grab a pack of biscuits or a bowl of ‘dal-chawal’ (rice & lentil soup) to satiate their hunger. Click here to contribute for ‘ Happy Fridge ‘ and ensure India never sleeps hungry again.

Feeding India also urges everyone to make a promise to stop wasting food and instead consider donating it to those in need.

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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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