comscore Hawaii Cat Cafe, with 22 animals inside, vandalized for 2nd time in 2 months | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Hawaii Cat Cafe, with 22 animals inside, vandalized for 2nd time in 2 months

  • COURTESY HAWAII CAT CAFE
                                The damage after a vandal broke the front door of the Hawaii Cat Cafe in Kapahulu.

    COURTESY HAWAII CAT CAFE

    The damage after a vandal broke the front door of the Hawaii Cat Cafe in Kapahulu.

Hawaii Cat Cafe, hit hard by the pandemic, was literally struck a second time in the last two months.

Surveillance videos showed a man repeatedly throwing a large rock and breaking multiple windows and the cafe’s front glass door around midnight Tuesday, owner Cindy Washburn said.

A similar incident occurred Feb. 1, but the rock didn’t go all the way through the window.

Honolulu police think the culprit in both incidents is the same person — a mentally ill, homeless individual, Washburn said.

“He had just gotten out of jail for doing this exact same thing, but it’s a matter of having evidence, she said.

The cafe owner turned over surveillance footage to police from its security cameras, but she doesn’t think the cameras were able to capture the suspect’s face.

Fortunately, police arrived shortly after the damage occurred, but none of the 22 free-roaming kittens cats inside the shop got out.

Kona Abalone, which occupies the space next door, was renovating its space and had windows smashed, Washburn added.

And the Waikiki Aquarium also had a similar act of vandalism the night of March 23, when its front glass door facing Kalakaua Avenue was shattered, but no animals were affected and nothing was stolen.

The Feb. 1 incident cost the business $2,000 to replace the broken window, but this time the damage to replace multiple windows will be an estimated $4,000, Washburn said.

The cat cafe, a 2-1/2-year-old business, had slowed to a near halt following the pandemic.

“The pandemic definitely affected us financially,” Washburn said. “But at the same time people were home more so they wanted furry companions, so it did increase adoptions.”

Business has slowly picked up again as the cafe has reopened to visitations as more visitors from neighbor islands and elsewhere have dropped in.

The cafe serves drinks and pastries on one side, and has a cat visitation area on the other where visitors, espressos in hand, can spend 30 minutes to an hour petting felines.

The cats all come through the Hawaiian Humane Society, spayed or neutered, dewormed, defleaed and vaccinated.

Washburn says windows are key to people taking a peek at the cats, and the cats, in turn, enjoy looking out at the birds.

She is looking into installing a chain-type of security grille over the windows.

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