MEET THE TEAM 2017-12-08T23:29:44+00:00


Melissa Pruitt – Owner

Melissa has been a rescuer of cats since she was a little girl. The rescue and foster genes are in her blood as her father, a sheriff of a small town in Illinois, was always one to feed, rescue and find homes to stray alley cats.
“I say it’s in my blood, because I only met my dad once and I have all the same traits as him when it comes to cats,” she says.

Pruitt’s inspiration to take action came from Adam Myatt and Anne Dunn, the owners of Cat Town, the United States’ very first cat café in Oakland. After paying a visit, Melissa immediately knew that this is what she wanted to do. She loved the idea that cats can get out of the stressful environment of a shelter, and into a safe place where they can roam free, relax and receive healthy attention.

“The ultimate goal for the lounge will be to provide a calm open space for the cats and people to come together,” explains Melissa. The lounge will have roughly 15-20 cats, all of which will be able to sleep freely about the lounge, as well as have access to a private room where they can be alone.

Kevin Woods Co-Owner

Kevin and Melissa have been best friends for 20 years. Kevin believed in this project and joined forces to make it happen. Kevin is a jack of all trades, as a property management professional for over 20 years, he also owns his own photography/videography company, Silk Photography. His newest business is co-owner of Abnormal Paranormal Ghost Hunting Tours. As Kevin is behind the scenes, he is a huge part of La Gattara and is excited to spread the love of cats and people.

Lauren Doyle – Yoga & Meowditation Instructor

Lauren Doyle is an 800 hour certified Yoga Instructor trained in Hatha, Yin, and Prenatal Yoga, as well as Yoga for PTSD and Sacred Sound Healing. Lauren often mixes different aspects of these transformative specialties creating classes that are well-rounded, nurturing, and accessible to every-BODY. Her favorite part of teaching Yoga With Cats is having the ability to use her creativity to bring people and cats together in a space that is loving and beneficial for both people and felines alike! Lauren has been teaching Yoga at the cafe since its opening.