Excalipurr Cat Cafe needs community support
Keep coffee and kitties purr-fect Saskatchewan destination
About a year ago my wife and I signed the lease to our first apartment together in Regina –woohoo! We had gathered up a number of things throughout the years of dating and put them in our “hope chest.” It’s a tradition where couples collect and store things in a plastic bin or two in anticipation of a future home together.
Late nights sharing a bottle of wine and bossa nova playing on our Google Home over a 5 mbps internet speed – life was something else. On a casual night you could catch us dragging our bedroom mattress into the living room to binge watch our favourite Netflix shows: Suits, The Blacklist, The Last Kingdom, Good Girls, and the list goes on without end.
Less than a month in and only a dozen new plants purchased from Dutch Growers, we saw a special someone in a photo on Instagram; it was Cosmo, a four-month-old Ocicat up for adoption in Saskatchewan’s only cat cafe here in Regina. Excalipurr Cat Cafe opened December 2017 and is partnered with Regina Cat Rescue. According to the cafe owner, Chelsey Legendre, Excalipurr has helped home 285 felines to date. This number includes my wife and I’s now one-year old, Cosmo.
Shannon (my wife), and I had both previously had cats with C names: from Cinnamon and Casey to Cookie – Cosmo fit right in as our first cat together.
We listened to “Chinese New Year” by SALES on repeat for days because the lyrics sounded like they said “looking after Cosmo!” Such great memories in such a short span of time. Cosmo still has one of the most unique feline personalities I have ever met.
We went to Johnston Canyon and Canmore in Banff with Cosmo for a few days during the winter. To do this, we had to put his litter box in the trunk and whenever he had to go, we would lower the seat for accessibility. This was a beautiful trip and we hiked the whole way with him bundled up in HomeSense’s top winter feline fashion.
During the peak of COVID, having too much time on our hands, Shannon and I adopted another kitten. This time, he was only a few weeks old. His name at the time was Bluebell and we discovered him through the Moose Jaw Humane Society’s Facebook.
While the name was cute, we renamed him Clover.
About a month or two later and with a strong desire to leave the isolation of home we took Clover and Cosmo to Lake Louise in Banff and hiked – making sure the whole time to mind our distance from others and to avoid unnecessary crowds. They saw the spring glacial melt and a number of different things.
To see their adventures, their Instagram handles are @Cosmothemeow and @Cloverthemeow. Both have gained quite the attention on social media, but Cosmo still holds the record due to a viral Tiktok of his that reached 100.4k likes, 25.7k shares, and 1.4 million views. This musical tiktok can be seen by visiting our family page @theholoiens.
Cosmo had quite the sad beginning, abandoned in a cardboard box outside a local veterinary clinic in Regina. It was early spring of 2019 and there were no blankets in the box, just his two other siblings, Star and Nova. Cosmo was bottle-fed and due to his eating habits he was promptly nicknamed, “Chonk” by his foster owner.
If feline friendship is something you desire but there’s been something preventing you from actually owning a cat or you simply don’t want the extra responsibility, then you’re long overdue for a relaxing hour or more at Excalipurr Cat Cafe.
This could be the perfect place for a casual date whether its with your partner or friend. Head to Chapters and get a new book, go to Wascana Flower Shoppe and pick up a new plant or go thrifting if that’s your thing and then unwind with coffee, cats, and conversation! What’s the best part about conversing while covered in cats desperate for affection? There’s always something to talk about and a new fluff-ball purring at your side.
Unfortunately for the cafe, business has not been so good since COVID happened.
“We had to close our doors in the middle of March and were closed for three months” Legendre says, “During this time we moved all our remaining cafe kitties back into foster care.”
Although fighting an upward battle, Legendre will not give up on her, “dream to keep the cafe open as long as possible.”
With the cats and customers returning, Legendre has taken all the precautionary measures to ensure that the cafe is safe, clean, and still a great place to stop in.
“One of the things that we have implemented since reopening is requiring guests to wear face masks while in the cat room,” Legendre said. “I also encourage people to remember that we offer custom baking orders such as cakes, cupcakes, cinnamon buns, donuts and much more.”
Gift cards are also available along with a variety of feline-related goods.
Now more than ever, people should visit Excalipurr. It would be a tragedy to lose this kind of business in our city. Cosmo’s story alone reveals the complexity of this cafe’s impact on our city’s arts and culture. A cat cafe may not be a leading form of art and culture in our city, but art and culture as a whole form together to create the most perfect tapestry. That which we can know and pride ourselves on locally, provincially, and nationally. Our unique identity is written in the language of the little things that matter.