The Suitcase Lady


November 17, 2015, 8:05 pm

I recently read that Cat Cafes are a new trend. These are not bistros for cats, but cafes which have many in house cats. People come to have the companionship of a cat as they sip their coffee, snack, relax or work.

The  idea of a working cat in an establishment that serves or houses food is not new. Over 5,000 years ago, the Egyptians probably got tired of rodents raiding their stores of wheat and decided to entice wild little desert cats to try out a domestic lifestyle. More recently, in late night strolls in Amsterdam, I’ve seen cats in darkened restaurants, patrolling under the tables and upturned chairs.

The new breed of Cat Cafe was popularized by the Japanese, although the first establishments were in Taiwan. The Japanese cats (nekos) are not hired as mousers. Like Hello Kitty, their main function is to be adorable. Can’t have a cat in your apartment? Having a bad day? Come to our cafe and cuddle with our kitties.

Some politically correct Americans will be aghast at the feline cafe concept. “I’m allergic, I don’t want cat hair in my food and animals are dirty”, they will loudly exhort.

Europeans, most of whom aren’t animal phobic, are welcoming the Cat Cafes. I love the nonchalance with which Europeans accept animals in their midst. Heads did not turn in the French supermarket where I saw a woman pushing her cart through the aisles with her small dog ensconced in the child seat.

Here are some photos we’ve taken in European restaurants and stores with resident cats. These are cafes with a cat, not Cat Cafes. Regular visitors greet the cat as warmly as they do the proprietors.

Note that my husband and I have no need to visit a Cat Cafe…….we live in one everyday.


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