[UPDATE: SFist interviews KitTea co-founder Courtney Hatt.]

This isn't a joke. You're not dreaming. It's real, and it's mew-tacular. A tea cafe featuring a bevy of therapeutic, adorable cats is set to open in San Francisco this year. Christened KitTea, founders Courtney Hatt and David Braginsky describe their venture as "part 'gourmet tea house' and part 'cat and human oasis.'"

The goal is to provide homeless cats a place to call home. Also, to bring humans and cats together in perfect harmony. According to the website, the cafe plans on opening this Spring. What's important to note is that, as of now, it's all in the preliminary planning stages. Permits and the like are still very much pending. But here's how it would work:

Patrons will partake of all the enjoyment and therapy that cats provide, while enjoying healthy blends of exotic teas that are ecologically sourced from around the world. Our cats will enjoy a high-quality, elegant home constructed expressly for their pleasure.

Here's how the (brilliant) idea came to fruition:

[...] Courtney, immersed in the stressful world of tech and startups, was working in a bustling cafe one day. She stumbled upon an article about a cafe for cats in Japan. City dwellers in Japan retire to the cafe after their long, demanding jobs and take refuge in the cafe, which looks and feels like a welcoming living room, but with several resident cats roaming free.


As Courtney looked around the cafe, she became overwhelmed with its buzzing and frenetic energy. Though everyone was sitting in close quarters, there were no spontaneous interactions with others and it lacked comfort, relaxation and socialization.

That's when it hit her that a cat cafe would be a natural addition to the eclectic culture of San Francisco. That is where Asana Software Engineer David Braginsky came into the picture. He shared the same vision of a space where people could relax with a cup of tea and interact with cats and other cat enthusiasts. The two are now making this dream a reality and looking forward to opening KitTea's doors to the San Francisco community in 2014. ​

Following the guidelines and standards of care from the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, no more than 10 cats will be in the cafe at one time. Felines will be adopted from local rescue shelters. When tired of the humans patrons at the cafe, the felines would be able to go to a "cats-only" room or, better yet, saunter over to an entire wall for climbing or an entire wall for scratching.

As for the space itself, no location has been determined so far. "We are still in the process of scouting and negotiating potential spaces in desirable neighborhoods," says KitTea. "We are hoping to lease a minimum of 1,600 square feet, this would allow 30-35 people in the cat space at a time, the space will never be crowded, or chaotic."

This could very well be the best thing to happen to San Francisco since sourdough bread, that bridge, and gay people. We'll update as soon as we know more.

And now, a slew of videos featuring cats drinking tea:

[via Laughing Squid, @CzarVolberding]