Alexandria, VA

Lucy is not quick to fall in love, but if she can find the right owner, this 13-month old kitten will be a friend for life.

Lucy is a cat up for adoption at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter (4101 Eisenhower Avenue). Gina Hardter, a spokesperson for the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, said that Lucy can be reserved at first around new humans.

“She can be shy at first with new friends, but patience and treats are the way to win her heart,” Hardter said.

Like many young cats, Hardter said one of her favorite pasttimes is napping — particularly in covered places.

“Lucy is a Nap Queen, and can often be found in her covered bed, snoozing with the best of them,” Hardter said. “She has the skills to go pro.”

Perhaps most adorably, Lucy has a little dance as she tries to figure out how to approach a human.

“When she meets new people, she occasionally does a little ‘dance’ while she is determining how best to make their acquaintance,” Hardter said.

Due to the pandemic, potential parents have to schedule an appointment for digital or in-person visits.

Photo courtesy Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

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Dub is a little different from most cats.

The eight-year-old cat is up for adoption at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. Gina Hardter, spokeswoman for the AWLA, says Dub has a certain unique trait among the shelter’s cats.

“He’s a polydactyl, and he loves to show it off,” Hardter said in an email. “[Polydactyl] means he has extra digits, which he loves to use to grab things like toys, treats and attention.”

Perhaps one of the most famous polydactyl cats are the residents of Ernest Hemingway’s home, where the cats are descended from a six-toed cat Hemingway once owned.

Hardter said while Dub is up there in years, he’s still spry and active.

“At 8 years old, this stately senior is nowhere near retirement,” Hardter said. “[He] loves to play with toys and chase after wands and feathers. Dub also enjoys his downtime, alternating between relaxing naps in the sun and sitting around, looking handsome (in case anyone is nearby with a camera).”

As with other pets at the shelter, Dub is only available for virtual or in-person visits by appointment due to coronavirus.

Photo courtesy Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

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Morning Notes

Goodwin House Conducting Virtual Job Fair for Servers at 1 p.m. — “When you join our team, you’ll also be working at one of the Top Workplaces in the Washington, D.C. area according to The Washington Post. Our pay is highly competitive, we offer outstanding benefits and we provide opportunities for growth and excellent perks such as access to our swimming pools and fitness facilities.” [Indeed]

Old Town Sign to Stay on Theater — “Patagonia will “fix up” the sign so it looks a little bit better and to prevent further water damage to the marquee. Patagonia will put up its own sign underneath the marquee.” [Alexandria Living]

Mayor’s Social Media Habit Positively Recognized During Pandemic — “Every time the mayor gets takeout for his family — most Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays these days — he tries to documents his meals for more than 4,500 followers on Twitter. For Wilson, it’s a small way to raise visibility for Alexandria restaurants struggling to stay in business while Virginia enforces a dine-in ban to battle the spread of the novel coronavirus.”  [Eater DC]

Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe & Wine Bar Opening This Summer — “Originally, we were hoping to open in early May. Obviously that isn’t happening, nor can it while there is a stay at home order enacted. Our current target is now mid-summer. We greatly hope that life will be starting to normalize somewhat by then.” [Facebook]

Casa Chirilagua Video Shows Expressions of Thanks for Support — “We are just grateful. As you may know, we are without work because of the virus. I’ve been out of work for three weeks, and my brother the same. And we are just, you know, trying to wait this thing out. Thank you so much for the collaboration to help. It was so welcome at this time.Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” [Facebook]

Fairlington United Methodist Church Hosting Daily Online Worship at Noon — “Do you have questions about your faith and our world? Let us know what those questions are in the comments below and we will explore some of them during noontime gatherings this week. Everyone is invited to come to a short devotional, check-in, and prayer at noon every weekday!” [Facebook]

Tech On Tap Urban Gardening Webinar at 4 p.m. — “Get your hands dirty with Urban Gardening! Gardening can be a great stress reducer. Don’t think you have the space for a garden? Wondering which plants you can or should grow? Gardening is the perfect social distancing activity – feeding a revival of interest in food production and gardening as a recreation, outdoor exercise form and community-building tool. Alexandria Economic Development Partnership can help you get started!” [Facebook]

Cidery Owner Participating in Lost Boy Cider Zoom Chat at 4 p.m. — “Chuck Shelton is joining Tristan on Zoom for Wednesday’s happy hour. Chuck is the co-founder and cider maker at Albemarle Ciderworks in Virginia. Widely recognized as one of Virginia’s premier cideries with a tremendous history in heirloom cultivation.” [Facebook]

At Home happy Hour at 5 p.m. With Pork Barrel BBQ Bartender— “Don’t forget to get your tickets for @Home HH with Kristina tomorrow night from 5-6PM! Kristina will be teaching you how to make two craft cocktail classics.” [Facebook]

Volunteer Alexandria Needs Help Transporting Food — “Volunteers needed to transport a generous donation of food from Great Harvest Bread Company to local organizations. Morning and afternoon shifts available Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Fri.” [Facebook]

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Harmony is the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria’s friendly mystery cat and this weekend she’s showing solidarity with her canine cousins in promoting the St. Patrick’s Day Fun Dog Show.

“Everyone’s getting into the mood for the Fun Dog Show, even Harmony, who’s happy to show off her St. Patrick’s Day spirit with a hat custom-made for her adorable head,” said Gina Hardter, spokesperson for the AWLA.

Harmony is a three-year-tabby who is something of a socialite at the AWLA (4101 Eisenhower Avenue), according to Hardter.

“[She’s] always at the front of her kennel to make new friends,” Hardter said. “Harmony traveled to Alexandria all the way from West Virginia and can’t wait to get a taste of city life, starting with this little St. Patrick’s Parade she’s heard a thing or two about.”

The AWLA and the Ballyshaners will host the 2020 Fun Dog Show tomorrow (Friday) at 11 a.m. Dogs can be pre-registered online or registered at Market Square (301 King Street) beginning at 10:45 a.m.

Harmony will have to miss out on the parade, Hardter said it’s a dogs-only affair, but she’s hopeful the curious kitty will be in a new cozy home by then.

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If your idea of paradise is a glass full of wine and a roomful of cats, then you’re in luck.

On Saturday, City Council unanimously approved a special use permit for Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe & Wine Bar, and the two-level building at 109 S. Alfred Street promises to be full of purr-sonality when it opens this spring.

The circa-1885, 2,050-square-foot property has been a commercial site since the 1970s, and dating back to 2002 was home to Fitness on the Run and Sand and Steel Fitness (now at 5418 Eisenhower Ave.). It’s next door to the Friendship Firehouse, across the street from Morrison House Hotel and around the corner from a number of local restaurants and coffee shops.

The cat cafe would allow up to 15 felines — all from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington — to hang out cage-free in lounge areas on the first and second floors, until adopted. The interior will have a tavern feel, even catering to Old Town’s colonial atmosphere with portraits of cats as presidents on the walls.

Cat cafes gained popularity in Taiwan in the 1990s. D.C.’s first cat cafe was Crumbs & Whiskers in Georgetown, which opened in 2015.

Mount Purrnon, which got seed funding by raising $25,500 in a Kickstarter campaign, will serve beer and wine for up to 20 patrons an hour. But what if a patron has one too many? Not to worry, because same-day adoptions are not allowed. There is an interview process, which includes a background check.

Pre-packaged foods like cheese and crackers, hummus and veggies, pastries and chips will also be served, and no food will be prepared on-site. There will also be no live entertainment — other than the cats, that is.

Special use permit approved!!!!! Thanks GW, happy birthday!

Posted by Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe and Wine Bar on Saturday, February 22, 2020

Photo via Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe & Wine Bar/Facebook

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Onyx is a curious kitty and a bit clumsy, but this sweet cat would love a new human to take him.

The short-haired black cat is six years old is available for adoption at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) at 4101 Eisenhower Avenue.

Gina Hardter, spokeswoman for the AWLA, said Onyx is an office pet, like Sugar and Cali.

“[Onyx] really takes his office duties seriously,” Hardter said. “Onyx the Office Assistant is happy to help with filing, typing, organization or any other office duties you might need an extra paw for.  He has exacting but particular standards, so while the job might not be finished exactly how you would have done it, you can be sure it will be up to his high Onyx standards.”

Hardter said Onyx is also a hide and seek champion who likes exploring small spaces, but he loves human company and happily shows human friends his hidey-hole he’s found.

A video shows Onyx trying to help with filing but having a little difficulty.

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Cali is currently the “Cat-Ministrator” at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, but she’s ready to settle down and find a permanent home to spend her twilight years.

She is currently in foster care, but AWLA spokeswoman Gina Hardter said the sassy elder cat is ready to find a family to call home.

“Cali is such a wonderful gal to spend time with,” Cali’s foster parent said in an email. “She hops right on your lap as soon as you sit down, and when she isn’t cuddling with you, she enjoys making purr-itos (little kitty caves) out of any available blankets. Her favorite toy is a laser pointer, which is when her inner kitten shines through. Cali will be such a sweet companion for her future family, and I hope she finds them soon!”

In a video put together by the AWLA, it’s clear that Cali has lost none of her kitten-spark when it comes to chasing lasers and playing with toys.

Hardter also noted that her adoption fees have been pre-paid, so there is no cost to adopt her.

An ideal home for Cali would be one that only includes other, ideally smaller, cats.

Those interested in scheduling to meet with her in her foster home can contact the AWLA via email at [email protected] or at 703-746-4774.

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The new cat cafe that has the town talking is going up to the Planning Commission for approval early next month.

The Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe is slated to open at 109 S. Alfred Street and offer both a place to drink and play with adoptable cats.

“Imagine a place that feels like home, where you can drink wine and play with cats, all while contributing to a good cause,” the business said in its application. “This is that place. Mount Purrnon Cat Café and Wine Bar plans to be the area’s first cat café, combining adoptable cats, history and wine to create a unique experience for visitors.”

The cafe will have free Wi-Fi as well as beverages and snacks. The bar/cafe area will have a separate entrance from the cat lounge, keeping the food and drink separate from the cats and meaning someone could — for some reason — go to Mount Purrnon and not interact with the cats. They will still be able to observe the cats from the cafe, though.

“Featuring an early U.S. history theme, Mount Purrnon also plans to offer information on the area through books, reference materials, and maps,” the company said. “On select Friday and Saturday nights, the cafe will also hold special events like cat yoga, trivia and game nights.”

Cat cafes started in Taiwan in the 1990s, Mount Purrnon said in the application, and quickly became a popular destination. The cafes temporarily house adoptable cats, giving shelters more space to take in other pets.

“Cat cafes have been shown to reduce euthanasia rates and increase adoption rates,” the company said.

Photo via Mount Purrnon/Facebook

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The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) has plenty of pets for adoption, but few with as many tricks and devious tactics as the shelter’s own master-thief: Moomoo.

Moomoo, or Moo as he’s known by his friends, is a two-year-old domestic shorthair. Like Remmy, the stately gentleman, Moo is a tuxedo cat. But unlike Remmy, Moo has a devious streak.

“Moo is a mischief kitty and loves to find sneaky hiding places,” said Gina Hardter, director of marketing for the AWLA. “But even if you can’t see him, he’s there…and can be cajoled into the open with some tasty treats!”

Hardter said Moo loves to hang out near people and roll over to show his belly. This might seem like an invitation to be pet, but Hardter said this is another one of Moo’s traps. The AWLA even put together a quiz to help prospective owners learn whether or not to pet Moo’s belly.

But this doesn’t mean Moo isn’t a people person. The AWLA said Moo sometimes enjoys lounging near the office staff and staring up lovingly.

As a bonus, Moo’s adoption fees have been pre-paid through December as part of the shelter’s Home for the Pawlidays, so he can come home to a new family at now cost.

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It’s Senior Pet Month, so this week’s adorable adoptable from the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) is Remmy, 10-year old squeaky tuxedo cat.

Remmy is a “handsome purrball” according to Gina Hardter, director of marketing and communications for AWLA, who praised Remmy’s adorable voice and cute tail shimmy. When Remmy is excited, his tail wiggles ecstatically.

“Did we mention his adorable voice?” Hardter said. “When Remmy is particularly happy, he likes to show it with a gentleman-ly squeak.”

Remmy is available for adoption at Vola Lawson Animal Shelter at 4101 Eisenhower Avenue.

Photos courtesy Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Leaders Weigh in on Nats World Series Win — From City Councilman Mo Seifeldein: “This a moment to celebrate the @Nationals, hope, and resiliency! The beauty of sports and sportsmanship.” [Twitter, Twitter]

More Details About Italian Restaurant in Old Town — “Hank’s Oyster Bar owner Jamie Leeds is ready to introduce a new concept to her otherwise seafood-focused restaurant group: Hank & Mitzi’s Italian Kitchen. The revamped Italian restaurant replaces Hank’s Pasta Bar in Old Town Alexandria, which closed last month to add a second-story event space and rooftop bar.” [Washingtonian, Eater]

VT Innovation Campus Now Accepting Applications — “Virginia Tech is accepting applications for the first degree program to be run out of its new Innovation Campus at Potomac Yard in Alexandria. The program is a new master’s of engineering degree in computer science.” [Washington Business Journal]

‘Lantern Night’ Coming to Alexandria — “Inspired by the European tradition of Martinmas, the event is open to all and invites attendees to come with handmade lanterns, enjoy songs of hope and light by the Kinderchoir, and then convene outside for a community sing-a-long and circle while dancing under the stars. Cookies will be provided! The event will take place at 5 p.m. on Nov. 7, at Convergence (1801 N. Quaker Lane).” [Zebra]

Remembering an Alexandria All-Star — “Today in 1916, Leon Day, star Negro League baseball player born in [Alexandria]; voted into Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995.” [Twitter]

Library Marks National Cat Day — “Who knew #NationalCatDay was this close to Halloween? In celebration of both, the Local History branch offers this photo of former Alexandria resident Ernest Bratton, a famous Voodoo doctor also known as Dr. Buzzard, and his cat, from the Alexandria Gazette Collection.” [Twitter]

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The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) has lots of fun pets available for adoption, but only one trained to high-five you.

Annie is a five-year-old cat at AWLA who loves people and having her chin scratched, according to Gina Hardter, director of marketing and communications for AWLA.

Annie has also been trained to give high fives to her friends at AWLA, though Hardter admitted the cat hasn’t quite mastered fist bumps yet.

According to Hardter:

We’ve learned a lot about 5-year-old Annie during the past year she’s been at the AWLA: she loves people and adores having her chin scratched.  She’s a great reading partner as part of the AWLA Book Buddies program, though she’d prefer to be the only “baby” in her new home.  And best of all, her adoption fee has already been pre-paid, so she’s ready to go home with her new family right away.
How do you get Annie to High Five?  First you grab one of her very special treats from the box in her enclosure; they are the only treats she should be eating.  Then you lean over and hold your hand open at standing level in front of her.  If she’s feeling cool, she’ll give you a High Five.  And don’t forget to give her a treat for a job well done!  While Annie, like anyone, may not always be feeling the High Five vibe, we invite you to come on down to ask staff or volunteers how to get a High Five from the AWLA‘s coolest cat, Annie!
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