Cats and coffee are two of my favorite things in the world. When they’re brought together, they create a small patch of earthly paradise. For years I’ve been wistfully reading news reports about cat cafes in Japan and other East Asian nations and wondering if they’d ever make their way to the western world.
And behold! Now they have. First Vienna, then London … and now Paris.
Earlier this month, Le Caf├® des Chats opened in the city’s hip Marais district. With the help of 12 cats, all of whom were adopted or rescued, cafe manager Margaux Gandelon is providing "purr therapy" for Parisians afflicted with the inability to have cats in their tiny apartments.
Judging from the lines stretching around the block at the caf├®’s grand opening, the new eatery is a huge hit — as well it should be. Le Caf├® des Chats even had to turn away 300 potential customers.
It’s understandable that some people might worry that the cats would be exposed to too much stress from living in an establishment that’s constantly full of people who want to have a side order of cat with their cappuccino, but Gandelon is ready to kick out anyone who hassles the cats.
"Will we ever have a cat cafe in the United States?" you may be wondering — or perhaps, lamenting.
The answer is yes! A young entrepreneur is trying very hard to open the U.S.’s first cat cafe in Boston. The venue, which will be called Miaou Boston, already has a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a Tumblr blog, but as yet, no city licenses. There’s a lot of bureaucracy to navigate and a lot of health concerns to address (which for some reason don’t seem to be as much of a problem for restaurants that allow dogs). But, as the driving force behind Miaou Boston says in the cafe’s blog, "There will be some obstacles once starting this project since in the U.S. animals are prohibited in food establishments, but I’m willing to fight tooth and nail."
Good for them! Hell, I’ll make a cross-country flight to celebrate the first cat cafe in America! How about you? What would you do to help cat cafes become a reality in the United States?
About JaneA Kelley: Punk-rock cat mom, science nerd, animal shelter volunteer, and all-around geek with a passion for bad puns, intelligent conversation, and role-play adventure games. She gratefully and gracefully accepts her status as chief cat slave for her family of feline bloggers, who have been writing their cat advice column, Paws and Effect, since 2003. JaneA dreams of making a great living out of her love for cats.
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