The Cat Cafe
The Dane and I don’t technically have a “bucket list,” but anytime I come up with something that I want to try that he doesn’t seem quite enamored with, I tell him, “but it’s on the bucket list.” He’s quite aware that I use this whenever I want to do something that I think he might not be over-the-moon about. I’m also pretty sure that he knows that when I play this trump card, he isn’t going to be able to talk me out of it. That’s what happened with the Cat Cafe.
Without really saying it in words, I knew that he thought this was going to be a complete waste of time and just…overall, a really terrible idea. He’s a good sport though, so when I announced that, “Yes! Today is the day to mark the Cat Cafe off the list,” he promptly got dressed and accompanied me to said cafe.
Originally, I heard about a cat cafe from a friend of mine visiting Japan. She had posted some photos of one that she visited. In her photos, she was sitting at a table with a lovely, sleeping cat in a basket at her table. Extremely curious about this, I later asked her about it. She told me that it was quite strange as all the visitors had their own cat in a basket delivered to the table. She added, “PJ, it was sort of weird. All the cats were sleeping like the one in the picture. I sort of wondered if they were drugged.” After further discussion, I understood that she visited the cafe around noonish. I told her that cats are mostly night creatures and so sleep a lot during the day. I sincerely believe that it was possible that she just hit the cafe around the time the cats were having their proper nap.
After my conversation with my friend, I was curious if there was anything like a cat cafe around our parts. To my utter surprise and disbelief, one had just opened in our area. It promptly went to the very top of the bucket list, but it did require a little “prep” work. This means I had to let the idea of this gel for The Dane so he could get his head around the fact that at some point we WERE going to make a visit to the new cat cafe. (Not only is he a good sport, but he really, really loves me).
I have come to understand that in life, there are cat people and not cat people. I am a cat people. The Dane…not so much. He tolerates them, but I think he doesn’t trust them. And they can sense it. Because The Dane isn’t cat people, we don’t have cats (actually, we sort of do as I often give treats to the neighbor’s cats so they come visit fairly often).
We arrived at the Cat Cafe around 11am. It was an overcast, rather gray day. Perfect for sipping coffee and petting a cat. I knew the cats would probably be sleeping, but they pet better that way.
We had to wait at the entrance, as there are double doors, presumably to keep the cats on the inside of the cafe. While we waited for a group to exit, we realized that there was a sign-in inside the alcove. When the party left, we entered. I told the host we hadn’t visited before and he gave me the run-down. We could pay $10 each for a token (cat shaped -so cute- which could be used to get a drink which was included in the price) and approximately an hour or so of “cuddle time.” He also told me that there were other rates if we wanted to come to cat yoga or have monthly cuddle time. After signing in and paying up front, we made our way inside.
The front area was like a giant living-room. My first thought was, well, we’re not going to be getting any cats in baskets brought to our tables. Cats were pretty much everywhere. There were couples sitting on sofas with cats. Smaller cats playing in a playroom off to the side, where children sat on the floor and delight them with feathers on the end of sticks. There were cats lounging in all manner of cat beds. In another room, there were cats high on shelves over a ping-pong table where adolescents played an intense game of back and forth. In another room, there were cats piled on top of each other sleeping. In an office space, there was a cat walking across the keyboard on top as a girl looking intently at the screen petted her as she walked by. There was a cat quarantine, with one very sad-looking cat. And upstairs there was a balcony area with pillows scattered around. These were little areas for some cozy reading and “cuddle time.” It was chaotic. And it was wonderful!
After getting our cups of coffee, The Dane and I made our way back to the living-room where there was space for us to sit. I choose a stool and The Dane strolled off to check-out the cat store. As I was sitting there, I felt a cat jump up behind me and snuggle against the warmth of my back. Before long, another had jumped up beside me and propped his head in my lap. I cannot tell you what a thrill this was, as while we were scoping out the place, I’d noticed several people trying to entice a cat into their arms.
I petted my new friends for a while. The Dane returned and said, “You’re being glutinous here with those two.” I agreed. There were other patrons that needed some cat time, so I got up to look around again and take some photos.
I thought I’d share them with you, so you could get an idea about how great it was to visit this cat cafe. Even The Dane seemed to have enjoyed this experience.
Later, he asked me, “But why?” I explained to him that just because we had the experience of cats growing up, lots of kids don’t. This is a great way for them to get the experience without having to actually own the cat.
I have no idea if this is why they opened this cafe or not, but I think that’s a pretty good answer.
Whatever the reason, I’m really glad we have one so close by. I think I might need a little more cuddle time!
I’m curious if any of you have a cat cafe near you. If you do, I’d love to hear about it.