Encouraging Animal Awareness in Tulsa

Out & About in Greater Tulsa by EMILY RAMSEY
Managing Editor

DOG OASIS: Dogs and their owners play at Biscuit Acres, one of Tulsa’s two dog parks. Biscuit Acres is located in South Tulsa at Hunter Park. Joe Station is located west of Downtown Tulsa on Charles Page Boulevard.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers

There are not many things that warm my heart more than seeing people spend time with their pets. The bobbing head in the backseat of a car; the prancing feet of a dog heading to the dog park; the quiet, contented animal lying beside his master’s feet at an outside cafe.

They all speak to the beautiful relationship possible between man and animal. It’s touching to see and far worth any sacrifices, in my opinion.

As the trend of awareness and acceptance of animals in public spaces continues to spread throughout the country, I can’t help but turn to home and reflect on Tulsa’s pet-friendly businesses and activities. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many as I would like, but the options are increasing.

I have yet to visit ONEOK Field for its regular Bark in the Park events, but it’s on my list, as is Tulsa Botanic Garden’s monthly dog night.

Most outdoor patios at local restaurants welcome four-legged visitors. Some of my favorite spots include the Blue Rose Cafe, Rusty Crane, The Pint, Mi Cocina and Wild Fork.

Though the heat has forced me and my furry friend inside more than we would like this summer, we are usually regular frequenters of Tulsa’s two dog parks: Joe Station, located west of Downtown Tulsa on Charles Page Boulevard, and Biscuit Acres, in South Tulsa at Hunter Park.

Yet, for as much attention as dogs receive, we cannot forget the felines. That’s why, a few months ago, I was excited to hear about the potential opening of a cat cafe in midtown Tulsa.

The idea of cat cafes began in Taiwan in the 1990s. The overall idea is to provide individuals opportunity to socialize with cats for an hourly fee; a coffee shop is, many times, included on the premises. Often, the cats featured at cat cafes are available for adoption.

Tulsa transplant Susan Cram had hopes to provide Tulsans a similar concept.

Cram has spent over 10 years volunteering at animal shelters and has always owned cats. She planned to fill her cafe with cats from Tulsa Animal Welfare and the Tulsa . “There are thousands of adoptable, good cats that are put down every year,” she says.

Cat cafes provide a valuable opportunity for “people to see how cats interact with other people and with other cats,” she continues.

This is in stark contrast to adoption centers where cats are kept in cages with other cats and with ongoing noises that keep cats from displaying their true disposition due to the stress of the environment.

Since the entrance of cat cafes into the states about two years ago, their numbers have continued to increase. Many of the cafes are in such high demand that they have waiting lists of individuals waiting for their turn to visit.

Many visitors to cat cafes include individuals simply looking to de-stress from a hectic day, ones who cannot keep an animal at their home and animal lovers.

Cram created a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign in May in an effort to raise $60,000. One donation that she received was from a local woman whose father could not keep animals in his home. “So, the daughter planned to bring her father to the cafe once a week,” she says.

Unfortunately, Cram did not receive enough donations to reach her goal.

“I don’t think the culture in Tulsa was ready for it yet, but I was hoping it would catch on,” she says.

Cram is, admittedly, disappointed, as are the many animal lovers aware both of her efforts and of the lost opportunity for Tulsa’s adoptable cats.

“A lot more cats are being put down each year than dogs. Cats need more help,” says Cram.

I can only hope that someday soon Tulsans will embrace Cram’s hope of helping to decrease Tulsa’s cat overpopulation.

As the owner of a rescue animal of my own, I know the special kind of love bestowed by a rescued, or adopted, animal. They love appreciatively and without end.

Updated 07-26-2016

Back to Top


email (we never post emails)
  Textile Help

Back to Top

Contact GTR News