Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cat Cafes Come to America!

portrait of a cat in a Japanese cat cafe
Above: Okoge, a cat photographed in the "Magic of Cats" cat cafe in Kamata, Tokyo.
Photo by Takashi Hososhima. Originally posted on
Flickr and used here in accordance with the copyright owner's Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Yes, that's right. Cat cafes are coming to several cities in the U.S. The idea comes from Japan, where cat cafes are very common. While you enjoy your favorite coffee drink, you can watch the kitties play or cuddle them. In fact, at some Japanese cat cafes, the coffee is optional -- you just pay an hourly cover charge for access to cuddly kitties. The goal is to encourage people to adopt the adorable critters without having to put them on display inside a cage.

All I can say is: What a great idea! I sometimes head to PetSmart with my son just to watch the kitties, and we always want to take them out of the cage for a proper pet. I hope they open a cat cafe where we live! Good job, Japan! Read all about the upcoming opening of American cat cafes here.

I think cat cafes seem so appealing because, for some people (the -- ahem -- right kind of people), cats and coffee fall into the same natural class of things. Warm, comforting, smooth. The types of things you want to have about you when the weather turns chilly and raindrops streak down the windows of your library room. Here's a poem inspired by the incipient cat cafes:

Another Afternoon at the Cat Cafe
By Cathryn Chaney © 2014

The coffee is like drinkable velvet,
A liquid hug that warms my belly
And makes my stomach purr.
The drowsy kitty asleep on my lap
And the inquisitive kitten who
Watches me from atop the newspaper rack
Only solidify my intention:
Barrista, please bring me another espresso
While I call my husband and explain to him
Where he can find something
To heat up for his dinner.

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