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  • Cat cafe playtime

    30th November, 2014

    Last week I visited Australia’s first Cat Cafe in Melbourne (or Meowlbourne, as artfully put by Aoife Boothroyd).

    The kitty residents are delightful – some very inquisitive and playful, balanced by more sedate “don’t touch me” cats. The new policy about restricting children should also be extended to those who are Cat person versus Cat person person.  What does this mean? It’s the difference between people that like cats, and people who understand how to interact with other people who also like cats. It’s having an apprecation of whether someone wants quiet time or wants to play (being considerate about animals’ needs as well as the other people there).

    The main rooms can be quite busy with people depending on whether they’ve been booked out for that time slot (you enter on the hour). I didn’t really want to hang out with other cat people, I came for the cats – so I slunk off into another room and sat with the cats who don’t like others (we had lots in common – Clara and Lynx were the best).

    Two kinds of cats at Cat Cafe, Melbourne

    Cat statues

    We were relaxing together, and then another lady came along with her fancy noisy feather toy, waved it at the cat in my lap, then they ran off together into the sunset. She totally cut my [cat]grass, like I was lying on the beach telling my life story to the man of my dreams and a distracting vapid bikini type walked past. Of course the cat ran away of their own enticed will, but that lady should have been sensitive enough to realise that we were already having a nice time without her prying.

    It’s okay, I won in the end because I found some cat toys behind the couch which were very exciting for all the residents. It occurred to me that perhaps I’m more of a cat than Cat person or Cat person person.

    Lynx at Cat Cafe, Melbourne

    Lynx and reflection

    Of course you visit for the cats more than for the drinks (‘more cat playroom than cafe…’), I understand that this will change with the menu expanding in the future. Hopeful that they’ll have something like the delicious-looking high teas at London’s Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium or the organic local fare at Paris’ Le Café des Chats.

    Pirate cat at Cat Cafe, Melbourne

    ARR, matey!

    Some of the cats are also getting wise to photo shoots and offering their preferred poses  – this photo from Rachel is very similar to mine above. If the cats had some glamour shoots, I think people would buy good-quality photos. Australia’s first vegan B&B, Bed & Broccoli, already does this by selling prints of some of their animal residents.

    It would also be great if you could buy drinks as 1 for the price of 2, with the price of the ‘suspended coffee’ going towards all the cats or a cat of your choice (their very own tip jars). This could be tracked with donation boxes featuring each of the cats (the boxes could be mounted on the wall so the cats could climb on them, similar to perches featured in this article). Each cat could sponsor another cat currently in a shelter.

    I’d recommend a visit to the Cat Cafe, I was lucky as a walk-in, but it’s best to book ahead.

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