An Eastbourne woman is opening a cat café in the town centre.
Former veterinary nurse and feline fanatic Lucy Allen is launching the business in Station Street in the autumn.
Mad Catters will be a 1940s vintage-style café playing swing and jazz music with the added twist of having cats for guests to cuddle.
Lucy, of Stone Cross, said, “It’s been my dream for years. One day I just thought, ‘why not?’ We are just in the first steps of getting it all together. It’s lovely we have already had a lot of feedback, it makes me really happy.”
Lucy, who jokingly calls herself a ‘crazy cat lady’, has four cats including an adorable trio of kittens.
She explained the somewhat unusual business, “People can come and have a cuddle with a cat.
“It releases endorphins like you get when you eat chocolate or exercise, it has a calming effect.”
The café, which Lucy will be running with her boyfriend Sam Firman, will also have influences from Alice in Wonderland – hence the name.
She said, “It’s good for people of all ages. It’s a very unique concept, some people love it, some people hate it, there isn’t anything like it in Eastbourne.”
Having trained at the Royal Veterinary College, she stresses the animals’ welfare will be paramount, “They are my pets, they will all be very looked after.”
Lucy is also looking into using the café to help people rehome unwanted cats, as well as host private functions and work with local autism charities.
There will be a launch party for Mad Catters on Saturday October 12 from 6pm-10pm. It is booking only, which will be available on the website, launching soon. Vintage dress is encouraged but not a must, and there will be free glasses of champagne or orange juice on arrival.
Find out more about Mad Catters by visiting the Facebook page The Mad Catter - Vintage Cat Cafe
• Cat cafés are a new concept which are springing up all over the country.
• The idea is to let people de-stress with a warm drink in the company of the animals, and many help local cat rescue projects.