KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Employees arrived at Whiskers Cat Cafe and Coffeehouse Thursday morning to find the shop's front door completely shattered.
The suspects also took the register with hundreds of dollars inside.
“It’s a typical day, and then you get a phone call and then you’re kind of completely shaken," said cafe owner Audrey Boese. "Of course, your brain kind of goes to worst case scenario, thinking, 'Oh my gosh, what has happened?' It felt … very overwhelming and scary.”
While the initial shock of the incident has worn off, Boese is still left picking up the pieces.
“I’ve always had a passion for animals, I mean since I was young,” Boese said. “Essentially we provide a space for adoptable cats, all from KC Pet Project, until they find their forever homes, and then we have a coffee house. So people come in, get coffee, hang out with cats and just enjoy.”
Boese was relieved to learn no cats were harmed during the theft as the coffee shop keeps around 20 felines at all times.
Last year, Whiskers facilitated 422 cat adoptions, per KC Pet Project. Tori Fugate with the shelter says there is always an influx of kittens during the spring and summer, so a temporary pause on the partnership is an emotional and physical strain.
“We may have to look at not sending cats for a week or two, but I would say that we will keep on with the process of getting cats adopted through that location,” Fugate said.
Boese is hoping surveillance footage from the shop will help find the thieves.
But in the meantime, Whiskers remains open for business.
“The kind words and the support is even more overwhelming than the scary instance,” she said.
Anyone who wishes to help financially can donate to the cafe’s Venmo account.