This morning, I visited the first cat cafe in Singapore, with a cat lover friend of mine. Supposedly about a year ago, I never did expect there’ll be any presence of cat cafes around the place anytime soon and they finally did see a profit-making opportunity in this craze which is gonna be there for a long time!
I first learnt about the cat cafe craze while Katy Perry was on tour (video) about three years ago. If I opened a cat cafe… it will be themed with the concept of California Dreams tour – cupcakes, cotton candy, gummy bears, lollipops, whip cream. With “Coffee, Cookies and Kittens” as the slogan.
My experience at the cat cafe with my friend is like fans meeting their idol. The cafe patrons are like the fans waving maniacally behind the barricades for attention, while the cats are like the celebrities walking down the red carpet – the ones that will, at most, smile to the fans from a distance; for the photographs to turn out amazing on media; and then after that, simply walk past them with little or no acknowledgement. It’s getting a little far fetch but I don’t mean it as a disappointment because afterall, these fans still love their idols despite of the snub.
It’s difficult to get mad at the annoyed faces of the cats. They look so pissed most of the time (at least from what I observed in the cafe) but you don’t know what they’re really thinking, even though the expression seems to tell you, “Are you serious? Why are they all here again? Hate them all; both the cats and the humans; and I’m going to stay in my cat house until they get out of my sight.”
The American Shorthair is my favorite breed in the cafe – the closest I can find to a British Shorthair. This breed of kitties have a dense and plush coat, chubby cheeks and eyes which stand out the most – having large, round deep golden eyes. Wikipedia describes their body build as “large and muscular bodies, short legs, round paws and a plush tail with a blunt tip”. Are they not teddy bears in cat-forms? Being British is another point awarded!
We were advised by the staff not to pet the cat on her body or she’ll get mad and hit us with her paw. Despite being the “untouchable”, she wasn’t left alone. Many of us sat by the side and looked at her. Isn’t it ironic that this breed is made to look like cuddly teddy bears, but showing affection isn’t their “thing”? Yet, the ones that look like predatory, safari cats have the opposite personality.
With 13 cats in the cafe, every one of them were given a considerable amount of attention from the patrons. The cafe was quite full when we got there in the morning. It’s like a Meet and Greet session, with the exception that both the cats and you don’t know one another (for first-time goers) and you’re paying to pet them because of the fact that they are feline pets. It’s preferable for one to go to the cafe with a friend, or a couple of them, because there really isn’t many things you can do apart from petting kitties and playing string toys with them. Especially when the cats don’t reciprocate to the actions you do to get their attention or that; they even deter from it, it feels a little bit sad… but it will certainly be fun to laugh it off with a friend.
I only snapped pictures of three cats* in the cafe. The others were prancing around on the chairs, couches, tables and cat trees. Their sudden movements startle some of the patrons, including myself. And we even witnessed a pre-cat fight!
*click on image to enlarge