The concept of cat café is not really novel; cat cafes have been around since 1998 in Taiwan. While Paris, Montreal, Copenhagen, NYC and other western countries opened their first cat cafés last year, Japan expanded its monkey business beyond the realm of cats and dogs. Today, Japan boasts of goat cafés (no kidding, goat cafés are a real thing), reptile cafes, rabbit cafes and what not.
If you didn’t know already, I’m obsessed with cats. I spent a good chunk of my childhood in the company of many whiskered four-legged friends. I fed and befriended all the strays and pets I bumped into, and soon my apartment was swarming with cats of all tail-sizes. When word got around about this in the neighborhood, I was nominated the go-to cat whisperer and was called upon to solve any cat-a-clysms that arose. My parents put up a tough front initially but embraced all the cat action pretty soon and we had about half a dozen cats in our house (in Chennai) at any time since then.
Then I grew up, moved abroad and life got all crazy and busy. I realized I needed to get my act together first before I could commit fully to a furry friend. Nonetheless, I’m always looking to get my cat fix on and when I read that Paris was opening its first cat café, it steadily rose to the top of my Purr-isian things to do. 😉
Margaux Gandelon, a sincere believer of purr-therapy, opened Café des Chats (Café of the cats) in Paris as a result of a Kickstarter campaign in 2014. Located in the trendy Marais district, a few blocks from Breizh Café, Café des Chats is home to twelve adorable furballs. All of the twelve kitties here were strays at one point and were adopted from shelters.
I didn’t realize how popular the cat café was until I showed up one Saturday afternoon sans reservation. It was almost like the line outside Apple Store on the day of an iPhone release. Hehe, I kid. It isn’t that bad but you need a reservation, that’s for sure.
After being turned down the first time, I was all like: “I don’t care how much to evade me, I will look for you, I will find you and I will PET you”. So I got a reservation and went back a second time. Parisian cats can be un petit peu snooty in the beginning, but they warm up to pretty soon. That is, you know if they are not busy napping or staring into the window pondering about the complexities of life and stuff.
One of the cats we saw had a swollen lip. It turns out that if a cat’s mouth is swollen, there are a lot of explanations why. It turned out that this particular moggy had been involved in a scuffle with one of the other kitties and was simply sporting his battle scars with pride.
Cats can be very territorial and this one seemed like the leader of the pack to us!
So, if kitty-snuggles, a cup of cappuccino and a croissant is your idea of a good time, look no further. 😉