They say there are two kinds of people in this world–cat people and dog people. Victoria Vetere, the engineer behind ZenCat Gallery, is a cat person.ZenCatGallerylogo-2012

ZenCat Gallery began in 2008 as an online art gallery and sanctuary for cat lovers, and a space for promoting feline welfare.

“I wanted to create something that honored felines, that reflected what they are about,” she said. “So I thought art is the perfect venue, and art that has a meditative, feminine feel to it. And so I created the name ZenCat Gallery and the byline ‘The Art of Cat Consciousness.'”

Vetere said that while there are so many ways for the dog lovers of the world to express themselves, sometimes felines do not get the appreciation they deserve. The gallery and shows, as well as monthly social events listed on their calendar, give cat lovers a space to gather.

Vetere said the gallery raises money for cat welfare, too, and that artists are welcome to contribute cat inspired art to the project.black_cat

In addition to ZenCat meet-ups, Vetere hopes to create Columbus’s first cat café–a location that combines the study and eating spaces of a café with the ‘meet and greet’ aspects of a cat adoption center.

“From the time I was a little girl, I have just loved cats,” she said. Vetere said she was attracted to cats’ graceful and peaceful nature and would like to create a new space for people to feel the same connection with these creatures in Columbus.

She said the idea of a cat café is for people and cats to mingle in a setting where the cats have a chance at finding a home and where people can reap the health benefits of being around these animals. It is a place to study, snack and relax, and an adoption center all in one.

Vetere began a gofundme campaign to help realize this new dream.

The goal is to raise an initial $3000 to seed the project. Vetere said she hopes that Habitat for Humanity will partner with ZenCat Gallery to build the café once their campaign ends.Bronze-Raku-set

“I’m hoping we can finalize this through the fall and winter and start putting things together next spring,” she said.

Vetere said her reasons for creating a cat café are similar to her reasons for creating ZenCat Gallery: community and positive visibility for a great animal.

“Mainly it’s a gathering place where people can get connected with these animals, be around these animals, and hopefully adopt some of them that they come to know,” she said. –Danika Stahl

For more information or to support the gofundme initiative visit the ZenCat Gallery website. Artwork pictured is available for purchase through ZCG.

Danika Stahl is a Journalism student at the Ohio State University, interested in PR work. She loves all that is local, wholesome, cuddly, and cheesy. In her spare time Danika walks dogs, writes, explores the outdoors, and eats a lot of ice cream.