When Cats vs Cancer launched in December 2014 it was dubbed one of “the most brilliant ideas the internet has ever seen.” Of course, we can’t argue with that :) Since then we’ve taken the world’s love of cats and encouraged users like yourself to simply watch cat videos on our website to help raise money for the fight against cancer. During this time we’ve been contacted by many viewers from around the world about how cats, cancer, and sometimes both, had affected their lives.
Below is the heartfelt story of Miranda Bono, a Michigan woman whose dealings with the hardships of cancer in her family ultimately led her to follow her passions and create Michigan’s first ever cat cafe, The Cat’s Meow.
“When I was twenty years old my father passed away from cancer. He had stage four lung for nine years. The first half of my life my father was completely healthy; the second half was not the same.
A twenty year old girl still has a lot of growing to do to find who she really is. The loss of my dad pushed me to do this. Two years later, I was graduating with a BBA and didn’t even want to celebrate. The one person I believe would be the most proud of me, my father who has an MBA and fully supported my business degree, wouldn’t be here to see it.
It’s funny that after my dad was gone, I started to realize how much we have in common. But the truly ironic thing is that losing him allowed me to grow into a better person, to be more like him. I eat healthier, exercise more, and remain positive and optimistic in all that I do. I value the things he valued, I work my hardest every day. Hearing a great song and seeing a beautiful sunset can change my day, just like they could change his.
That feeling of not even being happy that I was graduating college, made me realize I needed to live, right now, and live to the fullest. That degree didn’t make me very happy, but damn I better find what will.
And I did find that, in a business idea and a support team of friends and family. And The Cat’s Meow was born.
The Cat’s Meow Cat Café will be Michigan’s first cat cafe, located in Ann Arbor Michigan. A cat cafe is divided into two sections, part coffee shop as well as part cat rescue shelter. We have partnered with Happy Hearts Feline Rescue for the adoption process of the cats. We have also partnered with Mason Jar Coffee Co. out of Linden, MI as our specialty coffee roaster. We may also be bringing in baked goods. We plan to make downtown Ann Arbor our home.
Cat cafes offer a solution for people who want to interact and play with cats but cannot have them in their home. They can come visit and socialize with the cats while drinking coffee, reading or studying. They can also adopt the cats in the cafe. The cafe brings the cats to the public; solving the issue that currently people seek out their rescue animals, while a cat cafe allows the rescue animals to seek out their owners.
We believe in changing the methods of rescue facilities by bringing the rescued cats directly to the public. Our goal is to give cats a comfortable home while waiting to be adopted. We want to bring together cat and coffee lovers through our café. If the cats have difficulty finding a forever home, we want our café to be their sanctuary.
I have grown to be a person who looks for the good in everything, and while I wish my father was here to guide me on this journey to help rescue cats, I know that he has helped me get here.” – Miranda Bono
Make sure to check out and like The Cat’s Meow facebook page here.