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Photo courtesy of The Twisted Whisker Cat Cafe/Facebook
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The Twisted Whisker: Mississippi’s First Cat Lounge

This new Mississippi café is a cat lover’s dream.

As the state’s first cat lounge, The Twisted Whisker Cat Cafe in Tupelo provides rescued cats with a unique temporary foster home. The café fosters the kitties in the chill-out lounge providing them a free-range safe space for their personalities to flourish.

Marcie Harper and her husband, Connor, opened the café in July. She said café is intentionally spelled “cafe” in the name because Conner used to take French classes.

“He told me not to use the accent mark,” she said. “He refuses to explain further.”

All of the cats at Twisted Whisker have cute names that match their personalities such as Cleopatra, Azusa, Bunny, Wren, and Thumbtack. The cats even have their own social media following on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

So what exactly is a cat café? Harper said she likes to describe it as a low-budget petting zoo.

“If we operated as a real café our friends at the health department would shut us down faster than a power outage,” she said. “That’s why it is with the most solemn of apologies that I admit, we are a couple of liars. The Twisted Whisker isn’t really a café, but calling it a cat lounge just sounds nefarious.”

Instead, the café offers bottled drinks, pre-packaged snacks, and merchandise. Customers can have access to the cat lounge for $11, and all the cats are adoptable, courtesy of the Tupelo Lee Humane and the Amory Humane societies.

“We can’t take cats from just anywhere else,” Harper said. “We can’t take in stray cats, and you can’t bring your own cats.”

All of the cats are spayed and neutered, have their shots, and are checked out by veterinarians. The Twisted Whisker can accommodate about 20 cats at one time.

The Twisted Whisker is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. at 218 S. Gloster Street in Tupelo.

And if you’d like to just enjoy your lunch with a few feline friends, you can also bring your own food, but Harper asks that a $2 cat fee be paid, much like a corking fee a restaurant has for bringing in your own bottle. Customers can pay the fee in cash, or buy a sticker or a drink.

“If you bring your own food, you do have to fend off the cats,” she said.

And don’t worry, Twisted Whisker is a no-strings-attached, cat-lover experience and adoption is not a requirement.

“Just lounge and enjoy the cuteness, no commitments,” she said. “The cats will enjoy the company. But, should you fall in love with one of our fabulous felines, you can adopt right from us and take your new best friend home that day.”

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