Croque en Bol – Parc : neighbourhood pet store

As an apartment-dweller with a small child, I have discovered the wonderful world of delivered goods. And as pet owner, I am SO GLAD that Croc en Bol delivers, and for a small delivery fee (I also tip the delivery man). No more lugging huge heavy bags of kitty litter, cat food cans, and cat dry food up several flights of stairs while my little one is trying to be carried at the same time. I can even just call them up with my order on the phone, and they will deliver with a credit card number of cash upon delivery. No need to venture outside, or make a detour when you have other things to do. The downside is that you have to call in early if you want delivery, as their delivery slots fills up quickly and then you’re out of luck.

Another huge draw (in my opinion) to this little pet shop (which does not sell animals, so I guess it’s more of a pet supply store than a pet shop?) are the resident cats. I think there’s one or two friendly dogs and bird, there, too, but I’m a cat lady, so I only have eyes for the fluffy, scruffy black and white cats. There’s more than one, but I think they’re all black and white. I could be wrong. The cats who often ignore me when I hold out a hand for a sniff. Sometimes they let me scratch their cheeks, which makes me feel super special every time. I love it when pet shops have free-ranging animal greeters. They are clearly well-cared for, as well, and don’t seem interested in dashing out the door to freedom when you walk in.

The small store has a selection of high-quality cat food, kitty litter, and other cat products. There’s a selection of rodent bedding, food, and toys, as well. Friendly staff, clean store, and sometimes-friendly cats. And they deliver! What more could you want?

There are other Croc en Bol stores throughout the city. I’ll discuss each individually. This one is on the edge of the Plateau, close to Outremont and Mile End.

Parc

4889, av du parc
Montréal, QC H2V 4E7
514-273-6889

Lundi à mercredi 9:30 à 19:00
Jeudi et vendredi 9:30 à 21:00
Samedi & dimanche 9:30 à 17:00

croqueenbolparc@videotron.ca

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Cafe Chat Heureux – cat cafe in the Plateau

As a small business owner, I recently had a BRILLIANT idea to support other local pet-oriented small business owners by blogging about them. As I’m just six months into starting my pet sitting business, I’m regularly trekking all over the city to pass out business cards and put up flyers. I’m discovering so many great pet shops, groomers, cat cafes, and more on my urban vaunts. This is such a wonderful, pet-friendly city. I’m happy to share my finds with my clients and readers.

 

First up: Cafe Chat Heureux!

I visited this Plateau gem just this week. I’ve been dying to visit a cat cafe ever since reading about them. A friend of mine raved about it, but was hesitant to suggest it to me since I have cats of my own, and why would I want to go to a cafe just to hang out with more cats? Au contraire, mon amie! I am all about the cats.

This is a cozy cafe that unabashedly celebrates a love of cats. Two large flat-screens rotate pictures of the cafe’s menu and their adorable feline hosts. Cat walkways line the ceiling and walls. Cat art is for sale, the cafe sells socks with their logo on it, and there’s even a fake fireplace with some comfy chairs you can nestle into while you enjoy the company of cats. You remove your boots when you enter (perhaps that’s why they sell socks? But the socks aren’t required – they’re just available for sale), so it feels very homey inside. A guest book by the door is often filled with adorable cat drawings.

And then there were cats! The eight resident cats were all adopted from the greater Montreal area and have pictures and profiles of their personalities on their website. The pictures might need an update, though, because I scratched Luzerne’s cheek just before he settled down for a nap, and he was much bigger and fluffier than his profile picture. Actually, all the cats save one petite tuxedo were asleep when I arrived around noon for lunch. Some of the other patrons tried searching the area for a friendly cat to play with, but alas, they were all tuckered out and indisposed. I noted the lack of cat activity to my server as I paid my bill, and she suggested coming right at opening next time, when they are their most playful. After about an hour, they go into play overload and sleep.

The cafe has clear rules on cat-human interaction, and even has a hole in a door they can dart into if they don’t feel up to being petted and adored. Taken from their website, the rules are:

Do NOT:

  • Wake up a cat
  • Feed a cat
  • Take a cat on your lap
  • Use a flashlight taking pictures
  • Let kids without surveillance

You can:

  • Play with cats (toys will be provided)
  • Take pictures with our cats and share them!
  • Give a lot of love to our cats

General Rule:

Cats are expressive, if they do not want to be pet or play anymore, let them be, otherwise just like humans, they will let you know they are unhappy!

In addition to the whimsical ambiance, you can enjoy nicely presented hot sandwiches, salads, smoothies, juices, and a lip-smackingly good dark hot chocolate with a massive amount of whipped cream on top of it. The whipped cream was extra… but it was so worth it. I got the Cat Lady sandwich (of course), which was hot, gooey, and wonderfully satisfying and enjoyable on a cold winter’s afternoon.

There’s a sweet joy to this place, which will bring me back again. It was neither crowded nor empty when I stopped by during the week. I sat by the bookshelves, which was packed with random books in both English and French. Service was friendly and attentive, prices were reasonable. Gluten-free and vegan option available. The cats seemed friendly and well-cared for; it looked like a nice home for them. Next time, I might even bring my toddler, as it’s child-friendly, as long as they are supervised and aren’t pestering the cats.

Cafe Chat l’Heureux
438-333-1505

info@cafechatlheureux.com
172 Duluth Est, Montreal H2W 1H3

http://www.cafechatlheureux.com/en-ca

Monday : Closed
Tuesday to Thursday : 11 am – 8 pm
Friday, Saturday : 10 am – 10 pm
Sunday : 10 am – 8 pm

Be prepared for your pet sitter

The client is responsible for providing all necessary cat and cleaning supplies. It is awkward for me as a pet sitter to be unable to tidy up cat messes if the client runs out of paper towels or garbage bags. Or if they run out of cat food. Or if I need to use the bathroom and find there’s no toilet paper. All of these scenarios have happened to me.

Before leaving, please make sure there is a generous supply of the following:

  1. Payment.
  2. Paper towels!! *
  3. Medication and all medical supplies.
  4. Cat food.
  5. Kitty litter.
  6. Garbage bags and poop bags.
  7. Toilet paper.

*If washable rags/towels are preferred, kindly have a generous stack of them available, as well as a washing machine or laundry bag they can be placed into once used. I cannot describe the horror of having nothing but toilet paper and one reusable cloth to clean up vomit or litter box accidents.

*I am happy to provide missing items with a $25 concierge fee plus the cost of the items. I cannot guarantee the store I visit, the cost of the items, or the brands or quantities purchased. I normally get Bounty paper towels, Charmin toilet paper, and Glad Force-Flex tall trash bags. Kitty litter and cat food will be your usual brands/types to avoid stress to the cat.