Last week was the kick-off to a three-post homage to The Nine Lives of Christmas where I visited the Brooklyn Cat Café for a 30-minute snuggle session with adoptable cats (see previous post). This week’s adventure is a stretch . . . a cat stretch. I visited the Meow Parlour, another non-profit that features adoptable cats, but this time I visited for a Yoga & Kitties class.
While I am an animal lover, I am a novice to the cat world. (I grew up with a dog.) However, novice or expert, all animal lovers will enjoy yoga with kittens.
I arrived early to the small storefront on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Through the glass window I could see about 10 multicolored yoga mats laid out side by side on the floor. In a typical yoga class, humans would be laying on those mats, but today the mats had multiple kittens sprawled out on them. Arriving after a long day of work, the sight made me smile. Although I was curious to explore, it wasn’t time to go inside yet, so the staff invited me to check out the Macaron Parlour next door for a drink, treat, and an opportunity to complete my waiver if I hadn’t already done so online.
When it was time to enter the Meow Parlour, kittens were running from mat to mat chasing each other. I jumped over some kittens to change into my workout clothes. Then, just like a regular yoga class, I took my place on an open mat. For $22 a class, you too can have furry companions join you while you work out. I can totally picture Marilee from The Nine Lives of Christmas doing this class. (Zachery, not so much, but if he did, I can picture a lot of ribbing from the guys at the firehouse!)
The class was all women, including the instructor. The only men in the room were the two guys in charge of the Meow Parlour that evening. As I sat on my mat, playful kittens were racing from side to side all around me. Along the wall there was a basket of toys to choose from, and my classmates were waving ribbon sticks in every direction. With kittens bounding from one side of the room to the other, jumping to catch the ribbon, I took in the atmosphere and petted the tired-out ones as they came to my mat for a break.
Typical yoga classes are silent, with few sounds other than deep breaths and the soothing prompts of the instructor. Although we did all the usual poses, and overall it was a great beginner class, the main difference was our joyful giggles. We paid attention to our instructor and were generally quiet, but our silence would be broken by an outburst of giggles when, in downward dog, a kitten came to sit under my legs on the mat, or while another woman was in child’s pose, a kitten sat on her back. As kittens roamed and playfully raced around us, smiles and giggles were the soundtrack to the class.
I ended the evening with a smile and in a better mood then when I had arrived, a benefit of exercise as well as the playful atmosphere. I’d happily return with a group of friends to introduce them to the experience, especially if they love cats. To anyone in the market to adopt a kitten or a cat, I recommend you check out both the Meow Parlour and the Brooklyn Cat Café for some unique experiences that will allow you to really get to know your future pet. Even if you are not in the market to adopt, if you care about animals, you should consider checking out these organizations and their fun offerings as a way to support their work in the community to find these animals a loving home.
Tune in next week to meet Carlow the Cat, who actually lives in a New York City firehouse!