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Catfé in Chinatown
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanCatfé in Chinatown

Chicago's first cat café is behind schedule and short on funds

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

When the Tree House Humane Society announced its plans to open Chicago's first cat café last year, fans of felines were ecstatic. The new facility (located at 7225 N Western Avenue) promised to provide a home for about 200 cats and house a coffee shop where visitors would be able to interact with the furry residents while enjoying coffee and tea. 

A recent report from the Chicago Tribune signals that there's trouble in cat paradise—the opening of the new Tree House Humane Society is being delayed until late this year and the nonprofit is still $2.7 million short of raising the capital needed to fund the project. The report goes on to detail some recent turmoil within the Tree House Humane Society, including the firing of top executives and the subsequent resignation of several staffers, which has left the organization working toward the completion of the ambitious new facility under new leadership.

According to the Tribune, Tree House Humane Society's current interim executive director, Kerri Burns, secured a bridge loan of $2 million in July that should fund the completion of the new facility. Of course, the organization will still need to find a way to repay that loan (and raise an additional $700,000) once the cat café has opened its doors. It will be relying on large financial gifts and small donations from community members to close the gap.

So, you may have to wait a bit longer to enjoy a steaming latte accompanied by a purring cat on your lap (unless you're lucky enough to be a cat owner with an espresso machine), but if all goes as planned, you'll be able to experience Chicago's first cat café by the end of the year.

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