A new boutique in Emmaus is sure to become the cat’s meow.

Purr Haus, 27 S. Seventh St., features what operator Laurie Mason describes as “the best things for cats and the folks who adore them.” The store opened on Nov. 27 across from the CVS push-through in room that formerly housed an workplace and prior to that, an antique shop. Its name is a nod to the Lehigh Valley’s prosperous German American historical past.

For felines, Purr Haus presents a large selection of cat supplies, like beds, bowls, carriers and toys. For human companions, there’s cat-themed attire and equipment, these kinds of as T-shirts, attire, leggings, and winter season hats, as perfectly as glassware, greeting playing cards and umbrellas.

A part is devoted to cat treats, these types of as dried sardines and tuna flakes. An additional section has grooming materials useful for when it is bathtub and brush time with shampoo and holistic flea-avoidance options.

Objects patrons could have a challenging time locating at huge-box stores involve matching blankets for entrepreneurs and their cats and natural catnip toys adorned with pictures of preferred Tv reveals like “The Golden Girls” and “Schitt’s Creek.” The shop also has a backpack cat provider with a window, making cats seem to glimpse like astronauts although touring to the veterinarian.

There is also housewares embellished by spot artists who donate a portion of their revenue to animal shelters, and products and solutions encouraging property cats to unleash their inner tiger via participate in. Company pay attention to cat-themed tunes, these as “Kitty Kat” by Beyonce and “What’s New Pussycat” by Tom Jones. A indicator, stating, “Tell me about your cats,” receives purchasers sharing personal stories with Mason.

“Customers eyes light-weight up when they see it, and we constantly have a great chat,” said Mason, a Bucks County native now living in Upper Milford Township. “They exhibit me images and we snicker about their foolish antics. When you feel about it, there definitely aren’t several locations where by ‘cat people’ can communicate to other individuals who share their enthusiasm.”

On 1 situation, Mason permitted a cat to wander free close to the shop throughout a private appointment with a patron. The kitty picked out his own mattress, toys and backpack carrier, Mason explained.

Mason and her husband, Tim Schroeder, were being constantly self-explained cat lovers, possessing them for a long time throughout their life. The couple at present owns four cats and is fostering a further three by way of the Lehigh Valley-centered nonprofit group, Starting up In excess of Animal Rescue (SOAR).

But they’ll notify you it wasn’t right until 2011 that they observed a new passion in rescuing homeless cats across the Lehigh Valley.

Upon purchasing their 1st house, Mason uncovered a cat in the yard with 3 newborn kittens. Prior to she could obtain a way to catch the feral felines and get them adopted, the mother cat was pregnant yet again. Mason and Schroeder located zero luck in the assistance of area animal shelters with most telling them they had been comprehensive or had empty lender accounts, Mason mentioned.

“As anyone who often considered herself professional about cats, it was humbling to understand how significantly I did not know about the rescue planet,” Mason claimed. “We see totally free roaming cats in our communities and imagine they are surviving by catching mice and living their most effective out of doors lifetime. The reality is that most of them are starving, they are dying from conditions, and staying hit by cars and trucks. It’s a generally depressing existence created even worse by overpopulation.”

Ultimately, a good friend with rescue connections helped Mason trap the mother cat and get her into a foster property, wherever she later sent the kittens safely. Mason saved the remaining two kittens indoors.

“Kittens born exterior undergo,” Mason said. “The volunteers who trap these cats and get them vaccinated and fastened are angels on Earth that really do not get the help they are worthy of.”

As a journalist doing work for nearby newspapers, Mason was capable to compose parts on the aspect about Lehigh Valley’s animal welfare businesses. She to begin with set out to turn out to be a teacher but a journalism system turned her onto crafting even though attending Bucks County Local community Faculty. Mason graduated with an associate’s degree in liberal arts in 1996.

From time to time, there had been more challenging information stories with comparable messages about animal rescue. A person that stands out to Mason was when she lined the tale of Nemo, a pig, who escaped a devastating barn hearth that killed 4,000 animals in Lynn Township in 2019.

Mason furthermore identified refuge in her pets right after a prolonged day in the newsroom masking breaking information. At occasions, the only point that would allow for her to decompress plenty of to snooze was holding a purring cat in her lap, she mentioned.

“I normally joke that when I create my autobiography, I’m heading to title it ‘From Murder to Meow,’ ” mentioned Mason, referring to her coverage of murder conditions. “I’ve talked to a large amount of men and women who locate getting cats around to be therapeutic.”

Mason last year retired from the newspaper market to help spark her goal in opening the boutique. It was one thing that had been in the again of her intellect since attending to a cat convention in Asbury Park, New Jersey in 2008 with her spouse.

At the convention, there have been crowds of persons waiting around on extensive lines to get in. Distributors ended up carrying out brisk sales on tiny-batch cat supplies. Mason observed a will need for something identical in the spot, noting some sites have aisle right after aisle of doggy supplies with just a corner dedicated to cat objects.

“I understood … ‘cat people’ like me loved browsing along with like-minded folks for goods that were not only cool, but also supported a induce,” Mason claimed.

At the boutique, Mason performs really hard in acquiring merchandise that sets her aside from the competition.

She’s picked up “Dezi and Roo” cat toys, which are developed by veterinarians, as very well as T-shirts from “Kittees,” a lady-owned, California-dependent business that donates a share of profits to no-eliminate shelters.

The principal concentration of the business enterprise proper now is on brick-and-mortar, Mason pressured. This enables her to alter up inventory commonly though supporting little batch makers who just cannot satisfy orders big plenty of for on the internet product sales. Also, buying at the boutique, she said, is an “experience” and not some thing you can achieve online.

Mason has long run ideas to incorporate far more cat rescue missions into the enterprise. She invitations rescue groups to visit with a several adoptable kittens on certain times in an spot off the boutique. The teams also have a probability to go away instructional brochures and drum up membership.

Mason also desires to spouse with other community organizations, such as breweries, for cat rescue fundraisers. She moreover programs to donate a part of every single Purr Haus emblem T-shirt and baseball cap sale to a highlighted cat rescue group.

“Cat men and women are a passionate breed. They do not just care about their possess pets, but are worried with the plight of all cats,” Mason explained. “I consider Purr Haus sooner or later getting a hub for the Valley’s cat community. A spot exactly where you can decide on up a fantastic new toy for your cat, or a enjoyable cat-themed gift for a close friend, all though discovering how to support neighborhood cats in need.”

The boutique is open up from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.

You should subscribe now and assistance the neighborhood journalism YOU depend on and have confidence in.

Pamela Sroka-Holzmann may well be attained at [email protected].