Have you ever had a week so annoyingly bad that you would like to check out of humanity for a few hours and drink with animals?  

It may come as a surprise to many of you who know me as a funny, sociable and reasonably sane character—but some days I’m just not that into playing well with humanity.

Fly-fishing usually helps in most cases, however, a big rain storm turned a clear, fishable Rappahannock River into something that resembles the chocolate stream that took poor Augustus Gloop away in Willy-Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Recently, I read a fun-filled feature story about a new café opening soon in the Village at Spotsylvania Towne Center. It is an animal café—populated with friendly puppies and kittens.

It’s called the SPCA Play Café, “It is created by a partnership between the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania SPCAs supported by the Community Foundation, Greater Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity, Rappahannock IT and Sherwin Williams,” according to a recent The Free Lance-Star article written by award-winning journalist Adele Uphaus-Conner. She’s one of my favorite local writers.

I read her story while peeling shrimp for those less fortunate.  

According to the article, this café will offer people “a chance to spend an hour drinking coffee and playing with adoptable puppies and kittens.” All for a small fee.

The whole concept seemed genius for at least five minutes—mainly because it takes humans out of the equation. One could sit among friendly pups and cats while sipping a coffee as black as the hearts of all the people in the comments section of any online publication.

Did I mention that you could dodge people for a while?

Maybe it’s a place where a grumpy columnist could read Jim Harrison poems to a brown dog.

An oasis from the daily blah, blah, blah of emails, spreadsheets and meetings.

A place where fluffy dogs frolic. A refuge where puppies are happy to see you and soft cats are only mildly annoyed by your very existence.  

Unlike most humans, dogs and cats are consistently upbeat and non-judgmental when they ease drop.

Does your family drive you crazy? Are the last couple Game of Thrones episodes creating anxiety?

My border collie Caylee— easily outperforms my human kids each morning. She is first to wake, doesn’t need to dress, doesn’t have unfinished homework or ever miss a bus.  She never asks me to change the songs in the car or argue over the Mueller Report. She never even howls about the futility of Washington-area sports teams!

The whole concept of animal cafés appears to have originated in Taiwan and Japan, an area of the world that creates anime for patsy teens, great soups, and epic sushi.       

Animal café’s serve many purposes including more pet adoptions, more coffee, capitalism and the calming of nerves. Clients of the cafés can enjoy all types of animals without the hassle of actual ownership.  It is remarkably like grandparenting.

Maybe Culpeper should investigate opening an animal café?  It doesn’t have to be limited to dogs and cats. How about Sangria with Snakes? Espresso with Ferrets? Tea with Ticks? Mochas with Mosquitos?

The more rural—old school types around here will probably grumble, “In my day, we walked into cow pastures when we hated being around people and we did it for free!”  

Others may prefer a more urban setting where one could sip tall beers next to a dumpster and discuss economics with feral cats. The possibilities are endless!

Personally, I always wanted a bedroom with giant aquariums filled with jellyfish.

Have you ever visited the jellyfish section of the Baltimore Aquarium? Tell me that wouldn’t be a great place to chill with some great music.

If someone is sitting on piles of cash and has a willingness to help people escape other people, this could be a great business opportunity. Believe me I’m a journalist—we’re always right, except when we are accused of leaning to the left.

I’m not sure how it would work or who would vacuum the floors, but it could be fun, right?     

Culpeper needs an animal café!


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