Claire Rogers, aka Mrs. Frisky, hangs with the adoptable residents of Frisky Business.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRISTINA FRARY
At Frisky Business, Palm Springs’ first cat café, co-owner Claire Rogers has quickly become known not only for coffee and adorable kitties, but also for her empathy for all beings. “If you come limping toward me, you’re going to have to come live with me,” Rogers says. “That includes humans.” She opened Frisky Business with her husband, photographer Sonny Von Cleveland, in December 2022 and has connected more than 60 cats from the Palm Springs Animal Shelter with their forever homes.
Known affectionately as Mrs. Frisky, Rogers also works as a mindset coach and mental health advocate. Her candor about her own journey with mental health has been a connection point for many customers. Rogers had a successful career working for an American bank in London when she began suffering from panic attacks. Knowing her life needed a drastic change, her lifelong love of animals — and the perennially sunny weather of Palm Springs — drew Rogers to the Coachella Valley during the pandemic.
She and Von Cleveland are in the process of getting Frisky Business certified as a neurodiverse workplace. They intend to hire people with disabilities who may be overlooked for employment elsewhere; this month, they will welcome their first paid intern.
Visit Frisky Business for coffee and cat adoptions.
What is the mission of Frisky Business?
We want to give overlooked shelter cats greater visibility to be adopted. I also want to bring good old-fashioned kindness back. We open at 11 a.m., but the hour before we open, we’ve said anybody going through a rough time — healthcare, bankruptcy, divorce, whatever it is — can come here [for free]. Pastries are free, coffee’s free, and the entrance to the cat lounge is free [for those who need it].
What is your greatest adoption success story?
We had one cat that was called Socks. He was in the shelter for over 2,000 days; his file said he was unadoptable. He moved here on Dec. 31. Fast-forward six months, and he was the life and soul of the party. Everybody loved him, and he got adopted.
Who else do you partner with in Palm Springs?
We work with Desert Arc and Matthew McElroy, who runs Desert Best Friend’s Closet. And we serve fresh food and baked goods daily from Aspen Mills Bakery and Chef Tanya’s Kitchen.