Christine Bagtas
Christine Bagtas

Almost daily, Christine Bagtas is told by customers that they envy her job. We can see why. As the Cat Loft Manager for Colony Cafe in the Strip, Christine ensures the health and safety of the cats — and humans, too — and promotes cat adoptions. Born and raised in Rockford, IL, Christine’s lifelong passion for animals led her to work as a veterinary assistant for a small animal hospital. When her boyfriend accepted a job in Pittsburgh as a software engineer for Uber, the pair moved to Lawrenceville in 2017. Soon after, she landed her dream job at Pittsburgh’s first cat cafe. When not snuggling kittens, Christine can be found baking and crafting, or exploring the Burgh’s food scene and great outdoors.

What upcoming events are you excited to attend?

Colony Cafe’s one-year anniversary is this month, and we are excited to partner with Hannah Shaw (aka Kitten Lady). She is a wonderful advocate for neonatal kitten care. If you don’t follow her on social media, you’re missing out! I’m also excited that Colony will be partnering with more local businesses for some fun food, beer and wine events.

Non-work wise, I’m excited for the Harry Potter Film & Cultural Festival at Row House Cinema.

Christine on her first visit to the Grand Canyon.

Best part of your job?

The cats of course! I love getting to know all of their different personalities and finding homes that will fit them best. I love that I get to work in a space that provides a lot of enrichment for them, that they can’t get from a small kennel at a shelter. I enjoy educating people on cat care and promoting adoptions. I also love meeting so many new people who share the same love of animals as I do.

What is your favorite creative outlet?

I really love to bake when I have the time. I enjoy trying out new recipes and having fun with different ways of icing cakes, cupcakes, or cookies. I also really enjoy crafting — sewing, crocheting, knitting …

Christine and her boyfriend Greg Meyer at their first Steelers’ game.
Christine and her boyfriend Greg Meyer at their first Steelers’ game.

What’s your Pittsburgh comfort food?

If I’m craving something savory: Ki Ramen. It’s been a lifesaver this winter. If I’m craving something sweet: Klavon’s, specifically for a Strip District Split! It’s big enough to share, but I may or may not finish it myself.

Favorite Pittsburgh view?

The view from PNC Park. A giant pretzel and beer don’t hurt either.

Last photo you took on your phone?

The last photo I took was of my cat Pumpkin … but I can guarantee that my last photo is almost always a cat — mine or a Colony resident.

Which Pittsburgh food truck do you want parked outside your house?

The Asado truck from Gaucho Parrilla Argentina.

Iconic Pittsburgh place you’ve still never visited?

Cathedral of Learning! I’ve always heard great things and have seen awesome pictures, but I still have yet to see it for myself.

At what Pittsburgh restaurant do you always order dessert?

Honestly? All of them (#treatyourself). My favorite dessert so far is the banana cream pie at Eleven. Seriously — SO. GOOD.

Christine caring for a small kitten.

You need a drink. Where do you go?

Maggie’s Farm Rum Distillery. They have an awesome seasonal cocktail list, and really great classic cocktails as well.

What is the one thing that would surprise Pittsburghers most about you?

Despite being petite, I love to eat and will try (almost) anything once, including balut (a Filipino street food).

Best day-trip escape from the city?

Ohiopyle State Park. I love to hike when I get the chance, and this area is beautiful!

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Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...