One of the things we’ve heard about is cat cafés. Well, animal cafe really. We found out there are dog cafés, rabbit cafés, bird café, reptile café, owl café, and even a goat café. Only your imagination (and probably also some rules and laws) is the limit.
You can find cat cafés in the USA and London too, but originally the concept came from Japan. You’ve got to give it to the Japanese, they are creative. If you don’t want to have a drink with a cat, you can have coffee or dinner in one of many themed restaurants and cafés. We didn’t visit any of these themed restaurants, though we did consider it.
Having heard of the cats café, we decided to check it out and see what it was all about. Admittedly, I was a bit apprehensive about the idea, but you have to see things yourself to judge. We went to a cafe called Calico Cat Café. You through a door and up a dodgy elevator, and suddenly you’re there. You get a pair of slippers to put on, and a locker to leave things you don’t want to bring in. Then you get a pass, clean your hands and walk in. There are rules, like you are not allowed to lift a cat,
Cats were lying snoozing on shelves and pillows for them. We walked down into the main area, and sat down. We ordered something to drink and then tried to convince a cat to come over. Compared to our rather independent cat at home, that doesn’t like you to lift it up and doesn’t want to sit on your lap, we missed it. Most of the cats didn’t seem interested in being petted, and only seemed to come over to people if you had a snack in your hand for them (you could buy this at the place too, though we didn’t). They didn’t seem interested in playing with any of the toys. Of course all of this may just be because of the time we arrived. Maybe they had just had enough, and wasn’t really interested in all these people wanting their attention.
After half an hour, we did get a cat who came over and lay next to us and enjoyed being petted. Before the hour was over we left. You pay per hour, and when you go out to change your slippers for your shoes you pay. They can see when you arrived, and calculate how much to pay.
It was definitely an interesting experience, but not sure it is one we would do again. Think we’ll stick to our own cat that likes to come and rub against our legs, and get a good scratch on the back. I do see the appeal for people who can’t have pets, and the cats seemed fine. They could just walk away from you if they wanted to and settle on a shelf and snooze. They seemed well taken care of, and there was even a limit for how much ‘snack’ you could buy and give.