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Philly's first 'cat cafe' has a location

Kristin Eissler is setting up Kawaii Cat Cafe in Queen Village. It will be on Fourth Street - or is that Furth Street?

No, I'm not kitten you:

Kawaii Kitty Cafe - a combination cafe and cage-free cat-adoption center – is now one step closer to reality.

Kristin Eissler is feel-ine fine on this dreary Wednesday. She has a lease in hand for a storefront in Queen Village at 759 S. Fourth St., near Red Hook Coffee and down the block from the forthcoming Hungry Pigeon.

Eissler is cautiously optimistic that city approval will be forthcoming for this set-up - the first in city history.

Apparently, cat cafes are a thing in Japan. "Kawaii" is Japanese for "cute."

Kawaii's cafe will be completely sealed off from the cat room, except for one door, she said. A large window will permit people to view the cats from the cafe - and vice-versa.

Among the fur-nishings in the cat room will be a TV.

(Speaking of which. Why not show cat-themed movies? Maybe The Pawshank Redemption. Or Caturday Night Fever. Or Scratch Me If You Can.)

The public will be abler a $5 donation. Eissler said 80 percent of the visits will be handled by reservation, with the remaining available for walk-ins.

Eissler, who quit her job as a fashion designer for Jessica Simpson to pursue Kawaii, will work with Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and hopes to have 10 to 12 cats for adoption at a time. The shop also will sell cat-themed merchandise from toy designers Polydactyl as well as work by local artists and clothing designers.

She hopes to open in January.

The cafe will sell light fare, mainly of Japanese inspiration. Eissler's boyfriend, chef Joe Ronca, has come up with a menu that includes strawberry-and-cream milk bread sandwiches and panko-crusted pork sandwiches with orange cabbage.

Though the idea had long been purr-culating, Eissler got a jump on things since launching an Indegogo crowd-funding campaign in July that raised more than $20,000 to help with start-up expenses.

Eissler applied her good sense of humor to the Indegogo perks for contributors. For $15, someone could have his or her ex's name written on a litter box in Sharpie marker. The $25 cat yoga classes, whose poses probably will include downward-facing cat, were a sell-out.

No one, however, elected to pony up $10,000 for naming rights for the cat room.

Not enough fat cats out there.