Crooked Tail Cat Cafe

Owner Karen Stratman poses inside the Crooked Tail Cat Cafe, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, in Greensboro, N.C.

Amid heartache and adversity brought on by COVID- 19, it’s encouraging to know that there are good people out there making a difference. Karen Stratman, owner of Crooked Tail Cat Café, is one of those people.

Stratman opened the doors of the first Crooked Tail Cat Café in Greensboro in 2017. Staying true to the mission of “Saving Cats, Creating Smiles,” Stratman and her team have worked tirelessly over the last three years to love on their furry feline friends and put them in stable homes through fostering and adoption. A second café opened in Winston-Salem in July 2019, with over 60 adoptions to date.

While COVID-19 has forced Stratman to temporarily shut down operations, the hard work of placing cats in homes intensified, and the community rallied to help.

“When I first shut down, I was worried about paying rent, bills, utilities, etc.,” says Stratman. “My social media community recommended a GoFundMe. I hit my goal in less than a week.”

In addition to the money raised on GoFundMe and the donations provided, Stratman has also been grateful to her staff for their willingness to foster cats in the interim.

“A lot of my staff has stepped up since the café is closed,” she says.

Crooked Tail Cat Café’s Winston-Salem location gets their cats from Triad Independent Cat Rescue. People who are interested in fostering or adopting are encouraged to check out their website and see what cats are available.

While these strange times in the pandemic have left many people at home and looking to get a pet, Stratman reminds people to carefully consider the large responsibility of bringing home an animal, and what that will look like when they go back to work.

“It is a commitment,” she says.

Since the onset of COVID-19, there have been four cats adopted at the Winston-Salem location and six cats adopted in Greensboro. For more information on fostering or adopting, please visit or send an email to Stratman also encourages those who would like to help but cannot adopt at this time to consider supporting local rescues and cat food drives.

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