Pause Cat Cafe was inspired by a very special bond between myself and my rescue cat Rooney. We helped each other through some dark times, including the tragic loss of my closest childhood friend.
Beautiful Michelle was taken at just 27. A future evaporated. As people do when they lose someone, I tried to hold on. When I lost my best friend, I wasn’t to know that another was shortly to come into my life, one who had suffered his own loss around the same time. Paws in hand, we were to find a special healing bond.
At the peak of that pain, his tiny paws slipped into mine and the future unfolded. We both had lost someone so precious. It was like we saw each other alight with the searing pain and found comfort together.
White is symbolically spiritual and I was drawn to Rooney’s white fur just as my friend was drawn away from me in her horse-drawn coffin. I wasn’t new to animals, but cats were new to me. I was initially asked to take him on for 6 months, but he was a strange and anxious boy who needed careful coaxing. Every slowly gained symbol of progress, from being able to be in the same room, to him comfortably curling up on my lap, purring, was an especially uplifting surprise.
Rooney showed me the importance of the human-animal bond in healing hurts for both. This realisation that human and animals can heal each other was the first inception of Pause. A loss so painful finally emerged into something amazing, shared by so many…a beautiful place to honour a truly beautiful soul.
I know my dearest friend would be pleased that her passing has helped others.
The anniversary of my friend Michelle’s death is 9th May. To commemorate this I collected her namesake Michelle Pause, our stunning pure white rescue cat on 9th May 2017 to bring her to her forever home here. She is a daily reminder of the grace of my friend’s soul, and I hope she will be with us for many years to come. I love to watch her progress as she develops from a timid feral cat to a proud and mighty ‘Queen of the cafe’ helped along by the love of staff, volunteers and customers who dote on her.
Since the beginning, Pause Cat Cafe was created with the intention of being a peaceful retreat for our resident kitties and our human family to connect with each other. We often have visits from those who wish to cherish, celebrate, and share memories of a departed loved one (either animal or human). For these reasons, Pause would like to dedicate a whole day to commemorate those special souls who are no longer with us.
On the 9th of May, Pause will be hosting ‘Pause to Remember’, a special day event in which you can book an hour to come in and remember someone you have loved and lost. You will be able to honour your special someone through our mural; write a message to, or memory of, your loved one on one of our notecards and place it on our wall. You may also add a photo of the person or animal you wish to remember. The wall will then make a mural that is dedicated to all the angels that look upon us. Through this experience, we aim to offer guests not only a sanctuary in which you are free to commemorate and reconnect with your loved one, but also to bring people with a common experience together.
We hope that this cathartic exercise can ease some pain and that the healing effects of spending time with our kitties will help you feel better. The most important thing to us is that you are not alone in your grief, so if you have lost someone, human or animal, however long ago, please come together either in person or online, to connect with others who are going through the same feelings. Pick up the phone to someone who shares your loss, book into Pause together and take a little time to Pause, share, and keep the memories alive. You may prefer to book alone and spend quiet contemplation with our calming felines.
Normal bookings will not be taken this day as we want this day to be a special one, focused on this event and activity. However, If you would like to take part in this event, book your tickets here.
If you are unable to attend the event, we hope you will still get involved with ‘Pause to Remember’. The cafe mural wall can be added to throughout the entire week and we are inviting people to participate on our social media pages by sharing photos, videos or memories using #PauseToRemember. You can also download our memory cards if you want to use them at home to write your own tribute to a lost loved one.
Jaya, Rooney and your Pause family x