A few months ago, I wrote a story about the Public Pet, a pet supply boutique in the Kaimuki neighborhood. My friend Jordan, who owns the shop, told me during our photoshoot that they’ll host adoption events every now and then, and one of them happens to be monthly pop-up cat cafe. I never had a cat but lived vicariously through friends, so I was super stoked so I looked up Popoki + Tea on Instagram to find their feed filled with baby kittens, adult felines and…….milk tea?
When I went to a cat cafe for the first time in Berlin, it was like going to a tea party with cats trying to take your sandwiches or steal your chair while you’re going to the bathroom. But my experience at Popoki was far different of an experience.
This is Liberty Peralta , owner of Popoki + Tea along with her team. The concept of her cat cafe goes back to her childhood days growing up on a farm in Wai’anae. Strangely though, Liberty never grew up with cats as a kid, but rather would come across neighborhood strays. Only a few years ago that Liberty volunteered at an animal shelter, where she finally held a cat for the very first time. Learning about the conditions that stray cats and kittens face reminded Liberty of her childhood and pulled her heartstrings, inspiring her help homeless felines find a loving home.
Since their first pop-up cat cafe, Popoki + Tea succeeded in 27 kitten adoptions. But it’s not an easy-peasy process having a cat cafe pop-up for cat adoptions. In fact, adult cats are currently not up for adoption because they need more space to roam, whereas as kittens are easier to fit in the shop. Having a brick-mortar place would make it a better place to have both cats and kittens, but as most of you know, rent is hella ridiculous in Hawaii, especially in Honolulu.
Before her first pop-pop at the Public Pet, she needed guidance in starting up a business and enrolled for a YWCA porgram, ‘Launch My Business’, which was seven-week course and Liberty finished her session in Fall 2017. For more information , check out www.mcblhawaii.org/lmb. The cost is reasonable for a short-term program!
Milk tea is popular and easy to make when your business is only a pop up, so it was decided that boba would be the second attraction. I don’t typically drink it, but I love their milk tea, especially when I have it with their special tapioca that’s soaked in locally made honey produced by Tolentino Farms in Wai’anae. During the time I went to the pop-up in August, there were these cat cookies also being sold at the boba station. I forgot to buy one for myself but will be sure to when I go to the next event happening this Saturday!
That’s right, another monthly cat pop-up is happening this Saturday, October 20th at the Public Pet from 11am-2pm. I also saw on @popokiandtea’s Instagram that they now have “bobacat” stickers, which have kitties drinking boba - I WANT THEM.
If you plan to attend the event this weekend or in the future, here’s what to expect and how you can prepare:
Even though the event starts at 11am, a line forms outside the shop an hour prior or sometimes even earlier.
The shop only allows approximately 20 people in at a time - don’t want to overwhelm the kitties!
I highly suggest that you don’t bring your dog if you’re either planning to check out the event or shop during the 11am-2pm period. Again, don’t want to overwhelm the kitties!
All the kittens you see in the pop-up mostly came from litters of strays and were rescued at some point due to unfortunate circumstances. Handle with love and care!
If you’re sensitive to fur like me, take your medication prior and have it on hand.
If you’re considering to adopt, you won’t be able to take the kitten(s) home right away as you’ll need to go through a process of paperwork with the foster home.
Some kittens win the hearts of many and end up having a wait-list, so get there early!
It takes time to find a kitten who is the right fit for you, vice versa. So take your time, and let them get to know you.
All in all, just have fun, be safe, and be mindful.
Thank you Popoki + Tea and the Public Pet for allowing Landen and I to hangout at the pop-up event. I’m really excited for this Saturday - I seriously am looking forward to it because this entire month has been crazy for Halloween! Cat therapy is an absolute must right now.
Check out Popoki + Tea on Instagram as @popokiandtea for updates on the fosters who will be at their upcoming pop-ups. And also check out the Public Pet @thepublicpet for merchandise that fulfills your feline’s needs. AND if you’re a doggo lover, they sometimes host adoptions for puppy litters!
Thank you Landen accompanying me to this event. We were both all over Dexter and Eevee, both who got adopted that day! Check out Landen’s business IG @genki_media. He recently launched his website so if you’re looking for media work done for business or personal endeavors, check out his wide range of styles at genkimediallc.squarespace.com.