Cat café on the hunt for new home

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Elmwood

Garden City

Jennifer Laferrier is used to finding loving homes for cats. But now she’s on the hunt for a new home, too.

The owner of Miss J La’s Fur Babies Cat Café & Adoption Centre (224 Henderson Hwy.) is looking to move her operation by the end of April.

“We had really great landlords, but last year they put the building up for sale,” Laferrier, who runs the operation with her daughter Karlie, said. “You never know when someone takes over a building what they want to do with it. We just got confirmation that the new owners are not renewing our lease. We were prepared, but not prepared.”

Laferrier first opened her cat café in Garden City back in 2016. The business model provided would-be cat owners an opportunity to come in, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, and interact with cats who are looking for homes. At the Garden City location, Laferrier partnered with a local cat shelter. But when she closed that location in 2018 and opened up the Henderson Highway location in 2019, Miss J La’s also took on the shelter aspect as well.

“Our goal is to find the cats homes. We’re a rescue,” Laferrier said. “we rescue, we vet them, then you pay, you come in and have a coffee and sit with them.”

However, not long after opening on Henderson, the pandemic hit.

“We’ve been closed since March 2020,” Laferrier said. “But we’ve been still doing adoptions, but not the café.”

Since opening on Henderson, Miss J La’s has found homes for nearly 150 cats. At press time, there were 39 cats available for adoption, while a handful call the café home on a permanent basis.

“We have a couple who lives permanently at the café, they have health issues,” Laferrier said. “One named Pepper and Knight, he has one eye and congestion issues. We have Sabre, she has pancreatitis.”

While Laferrier has loved the time in Elmwood, she is now on the hunt for a new location.

“Most important thing is we like a lot of windows for the kitties. The rest of it, we need a kitchen area. But otherwise we’re not sure. It’s going to be about looking at spaces and see what fits, or what we can make fit.”

In the meantime, Laferrier is still taking applications from those interested in giving the cats in her care a new home. Anyone interested in adopting should visit www.missjlasfurbabiescatcafeandadoptioncentre.com

Sheldon Birnie

Sheldon Birnie
Community Journalist

Sheldon Birnie is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. The author of Missing Like Teeth: An Oral History of Winnipeg Underground Rock (1990-2001), his writing has appeared in journals and online platforms across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. A husband and father of two young children, Sheldon enjoys playing guitar and rec hockey when he can find the time. Email him at sheldon.birnie@canstarnews.com Call him at 204-697-7112

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