One of the highlights of a weekend in Sheffield last year was visiting Tabby Teas cat café.
Having overcome a cat allergy enough to have lived with our Tilly for 15 years, I’ve become a cat lover and loved the concept.
We had to pay about a fiver to enter, via a double-door system designed to prevent feline escapees. Cats were everywhere: being stroked and admired, wandering along wooden ceiling-height pathways and generally doing what cats do best, lying around indolently, waiting for their human servants to attend to their every need.
We shared the same thought: Scarborough could do with something like this. And now it has it.
Steampuss Cat Café, in Bar Street, was opened mid-June by two confirmed cat-lovers. Matthew Davenport and Chloe Cotton moved to East Ayton from the Midlands after spotting the gap in the market.
“We love cats”, says Matthew, wearing a T-shirt bearing an image of one of their cats, Alfie. “Chloe has had cats all her life and we have always wanted to work with animals”.
He and Chloe have 11 cats, one of whom stays at home all the time. The other 10 travel into town with them every day, in baskets.
“We have had a good reaction so far”, Matthew says. “People who come here are big cat lovers”.
Steampuss can accommodate 20 humans and plenty of cats on two floors. The premises were previously occupied by a hairdresser on the ground floor and a clothes shop downstairs.
The menu contains hot and cold drinks including milkshakes, numerous cakes, muffins and scones - and a few cat puns. Coffees include es-purr-so, a-meow-icano, catte and cat-paw-ccino. Customers are invited to be the cat who got the cream.
Not surprisingly, Steampuss has a few rules, especially where children are concerned. All can be found on the café’s Facebook page, search for Steampuss.