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Rachel McIntyre Smith is a talented, young, emerging singer-songwriter who came to Chattanooga to study at UTC. While interning at Songbirds, she found that not only did she like making music, she was good at it, and that people liked her work.

So after graduating, she decided to stick around to give music a chance.

Smith also likes cats, and on Valentine's Day, she will kick off a five-state tour that combines her two interests.

During her Kitten Coma Tour, she will perform at various cat cafes, which are places where people pay a cover charge to watch and play with cats. She will sell merchandise related to her song, "The Kitten Song," with all proceeds from those sales going to animal rescue organizations. You can watch Smith sing that song and others at https://youtu.be/SFaivFf_fWM.

The tour kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at the Naughty Cat Cafe, 3742 Tennessee Ave. in St. Elmo.

Cat cafes started in Taiwan and blossomed in Japan, where limited space prevented many people from having a cat. Here in the U.S., the cafes are more focused on adoption.

These cafes charge a fee, which in most cases go toward the costs of housing and feeding the cats. There is a $13 fee for 60 minutes of play at Naughty Cat, for example.

Naughty Cat hosts something called Happy Meowers every Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., where the first beer or hard cider is included in your reservation. It also hosts things like Yoga with Cats and art classes.

Naughty Cat will host a Valentine's Day party from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in addition to Smith's performance. Harpist Leah Smith will also perform at 5 p.m.

"The main goal for the tour is to raise awareness of the great work that cat cafes are doing" Smith said. "So many cats have found homes because cat cafes create an optimal environment for potential owners to mingle with the cats."

The Kitten Coma Tour will travel from Tennessee to North Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky and Ohio.

Smith released her self-titled debut album in April of last year showcasing her blend of country, indie and vintage pop.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.

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