Katherine Edith Silver, PhD – aka Kat
(imitates trumpet fanfare)
Kat Silver, arriving! Kat is a bubbly business owner based out of Louisville, Kentucky in the early 2020s. She lives life proudly on her own terms in direct conflict with traditional societal expectations for a woman her age and relationship status over her cat café with a clowder of cats.
Her life begins when her father loses his. She then wants to make the most out of every moment as if it might be the last. She seeks meaningful exchanges with others over external validation for her own accomplishments. She gives up her academic career to focus on the little pleasures of life. She is deeply afraid of social rejection as this symbolizes potential lost opportunities of connection. She will lie if it can help her bond with others or protect them from painful truths.
Kat cares for her friends and employees like they are all family. She has a sisterly bond with Randi and takes kindly to the warm, nurturing spirit of Phil, the only older male figure in her life. She has a will-they-won’t-they tension with Max. Her values conflict with her mother’s. And while Kat rules the day with her café, Carter takes on the night with his boozy, music-filled bar.
The apple hopped, skipped, and jumped over to another orchard when it fell out of this tree. As optimistic, carefree, and unapologetically herself as Kat is, her mother Sheila doesn’t understand it nor wants to. Sheila dishes out enough pessimism, control, and overconcern with superficial societal conventions to balance her. Sheila measures success in life by titles and status. She wants Kat to be more than a daughter – a wife, a mother, etc. – but Kat wants to be accepted as is. Kat needs her own space and independence. Sheila needs proximity and social support. This mother-daughter duo play off each other with their outlooks on, and approaches to, life. Apart from Kat, Sheila doesn’t really talk with anyone else on the show except for Phil as friends.
Carter is a practical business owner across the street from Kat. He takes his job seriously, which causes friction during moments when his friend-hire Max slacks off. He is a close-minded traditionalist and concerns himself with bar-related costs rather than being more people-focused. He keeps a close eye on Max, but still gets along well with him and Phil. He wants his business to thrive, but his excessive work prioritization leads him to become a divorced father. He perpetuates what he was taught without considering its impact on others. This leads to problems romantically, which are slowly on the mend as he addresses this in his relationship with Randi.
Maxwell Kingbird – aka Max
Max is a hot, single bartender working for Carter. While Carter is more of a relationship-man, Max flits around the dating scene. Max is more modern and approachable. Yet Max has no direction in life. He is living in the now hedonistically whereas Carter is more long-term goal-oriented. Max struck out with songwriting and teaching, and he hasn’t taken the necessary steps to figure out what’s next. He’s hung up on the past, which stunts his moves going forward. He wants a relationship, a family, a future, and Kat, but he self-sabotages before he can even try. His radar is more on those who come to the bar rather than chatting with the café’s employees.
Miranda Elizabeth Hamilton – aka Randi
Randi works for Kat at her cat café. Randi is supporting herself through art school, but feels lost in life. She wants to make something of herself. Her parents don’t believe in her, but her work family does. She looks up to Kat like an older sister, a positive role model, the perky to her anti-perky. But her messy nature, sleeping in, and desire for mellow evenings grate against Kat’s tidy, early-bird, and fun-loving spontaneous tendencies, causing friction while they live together for some time. When it comes to dating, Randi steps up with her wealth of experience and guides Kat through it, especially when it involves Max. As Randi gets closer to Carter, she is learning to trust people despite being burned before and slowly opens up. Phil is a great friend to her and helps teach her how to avoid toxic masculinity. She is sassy and above all just keeps swimming.
Phil . . . Philliam?
Phil also works for Kat. He is a kind-hearted Southern sweetheart. He loves baking, gossip, and Dolly Parton. He gets along well with everyone, even Sheila. He is soft-natured versus Randi’s tough can-do attitude. They contrast in a multitude of ways, including height, weight, gender, race, generation, tech-savvy, skill set, sexual orientation (though they’re interested in the same thing there), and more. He has his moments of childlike wonder interspersed with elderly wisdom. He wants to open a bakery and share a romantic life with an equally flamboyant man. He’s the kind of person you can’t help but help and is a bridge between a past life and new tech.
(Because I’m a coffee writer and I couldn’t help but notice…)
By the start of season two, Kat switches from making herself coffee from a Moka pot to giving herself and her guests drip coffee from a full pot. This is an interesting detail for this shows the shift in her thinking to being more host-like. Drip coffee machines have the capacity to entertain many at a time. The brew is not as strong as from a Moka pot, but it fosters greater connection. It’s nice to see the type of brewing method evolve alongside Kat’s character development.