Right now, as I’m trying to type, my calico cat, Phoenix, is lying in my lap, purring like an engine. Sounds nice, right? Too bad she’s also swatting at the drawstrings on my sweatshirt, initiating playtime every time I lean forward for another sip of coffee. This is annoying, yes, but also cute enough to make me indifferent toward any lost productivity.
Later this year, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is opening in London. Calling itself “a haven for cat lovers,” the cafe will give people starved for feline affection the opportunity to cozy up with a cup of tea while “doing their best to charm one of the cafe’s delightful kitties.” So if your own cats aren’t distracting enough, Lady Dinah’s offers the chance to be sidetracked by a room full of strange, British cats. I don’t know about you guys, but I think that sounds bloody brilliant.
Here are five details that I think would make the Lady Dinah’s experience ideal.
Working with a cat on your lap is basically impossible. Your and the cat’s ideas of what constitutes “work” differ so drastically as to make progress impossible; for example, Phoenix seems just as determined to eat my drawstrings as I do to finish this article. There’s also the likelihood that no matter how much coffee you’ve had, the cat’s inherent hedonism will draw you into a technicolor world of naps, bite-size treats, and sun puddles.
So at my hypothetical Cat Emporium, computers will have filters that will prevent anyone from doing anything work-related. Like those annoying “firewalls” that keep you from looking at anything fun at the office, these filters will only allow cat-centric searches. Watching cat videos has been anecdotally proven to increase productivity, so when you do get back to work, you’ll work much more effectively.
There’s something magical about Bub. Her large, enchanting eyes remind me of that pendant from the original Men in Black movie (the one that doesn’t suck) — they look as though they contain entire galaxies. It wouldn’t surprise me if the damn cat were omniscient, and that if we only spoke her language we’d discover that she’s walking around all the time chanting, “I know something you don’t know.”
To honor the mystical moggy’s otherworldly presence, there will be art supplies on hand and an entire wall devoted to patrons’ drawings of Bub.
When I was 21, I was drinking at some country dive when an older dude who had been flirting and making unwelcome advances bought me a rose. To communicate my lack of interest, I made like a cat: I grabbed the rose and bit off a mouthful of petals. I chewed them. I swallowed. Then I took another bite. I basically ate the rose while he watched. It tasted like chemicals.
In addition to pastries, the Cat Emporium will offer edible flowers that are both organic and delicious. Because the idea amuses me.
Though the purpose of coffee is to perk up, at this Cat Emporium, napping will be encouraged. Giant cat beds will be large enough to accommodate humans and felines simultaneously. Windows will face southwest to take maximum advantage of warm afternoon sun puddles.
Instead of manipulating the foam atop the latte into stunning loops, swirls, and hearts that make the coffee almost too pretty to drink, let’s take it a step further and make it appear as though a fluffy, white cat is actually perched on the edge of the mug. Drink up!
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