Hadyn Hilton: She’s a Cool Cat

December 13 - On The Dot

There’s a running joke here at On The Dot that if there’s a way I can slip in some sort of tidbit about cats, I will. Well guess what, ladies? The time is nigh! I’m letting the cat out of the bag! Sometimes these furballs get a bad rap, in my opinion. They’re considered predators by bird enthusiasts and, I’ll admit, maybe they aren’t the friendliest with their feathered colleagues. But like the rest of us, cats are allowed to have frenemies too, right? Despite their hunting proclivities, cats can also become our snuggliest best friends. And all it takes is a kitty softly bumping his head with yours, or a lap-sitting purr fest that lasts an hour or a cute little meow when you walk through the door to make you see why Egyptians worshiped cats as the most sacred of creatures.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 30 Percent Less

From personal experience and conversations with friends, I know there’s no doubt pets can offer some serious therapeutic mojo. And a recent study from the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute backs me up. For 10 years, the organization monitored about 4,500 people, more than half of whom were cat owners, and researchers discovered something quite miraculous: Cat owners experienced a 30 percent reduction in the risk of death from a heart attack, compared with participants who didn’t own cats. Cats, as lap animals, enjoy being pet, the act of which correlates to lower stress, blood-pressure and heart-rate levels in their humans. Meow-nificent!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Hadyn Hilton, Founder of Java Cats Cafe

Today’s Woman to Watch is, you guessed it, a real cat lady, and we think she’s paws-itively awesome! Hadyn Hilton opened Atlanta’s first cat-adoption café, Java Cats, with the goal of bringing the citizens of her town joy through the love of an adoptable cat while also helping homeless kitties find a loving forever home.

Java Cats partners with Georgia’s oldest no-kill animal shelter, Paws Atlanta, to give café customers a fanciful experience of sipping top-notch espresso alongside—or perhaps nuzzled up to—adorable foster kitties.

If you’re not a cat aficionado, you may not have heard of the concept of cat cafés, but these do-good combo businesses have been around since the late 1990s, when the trend got started in Taiwan. Tourists flocked to the destination as a way to get in some pet-bonding time. Before long, cat cafés became seriously popular in Japan, then the concept migrated to North America.

Hadyn, a longtime cat lover whose family cares for about 16 kitties, says opening Java Cats just came naturally to her. Java Cats hosts as many as 20 cats at a time, each of which are available for adoption. It’s a win-win: Cats have a safe place to live where snuggles abound while future adopters can really get to know a kitty before bringing her home. And no worries about getting cat hair in your latte. Per city regulations, the cats are housed in a separate room, the Cat Lounge, a clean, safe and comfy environment for both kitties and human guests.

Ever the giving heart, Hadyn has also partnered with an Atlanta-based nonprofit called Gathering Industries, which trains and employs homeless people in the culinary arts, preparing them for self-sufficiency. The organization plays a pivotal role in providing Java Cats’ boxed lunches and prepackaged snacks.

Thanks, Hadyn, for creating a business that not only provides a helping hand to those in need, but also offers a comfy spot for Atlanta residents and visitors to sip some tasty coffee and make some furry new friends. We think your business is just purr-fect!


Let’s close out today with a quote from author and cat lover Eckhart Tolle, who said:

“I have lived with several Zen masters—all of them cats.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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