Last weekend, I spotted a lovely news item on the web that made me go ‘awww!’ The BBC, and indeed a number of other sites, reported on the opening of Europe’s first cat cafe in Austria. The establishment in Vienna houses five strays, who roam freely as customers relax with a newspaper and a brew.
It seems that cat cafes aren’t entirely new. A quick search on the ‘net reveals the concept has been up and running in Japan for several years, where they’re apparently very popular with the young and old alike. Not only are they a tourist attraction and a way of earning revenue but they also provide a home for abandoned moggies who can finally be given the fuss they deserve by affectionate patrons. Just as felines were once worshipped in Egypt, they’re now treated with enough respect to be awarded not only their own coffee shops but also their own stations – I’m thinking of the homeless puss Tama, who was awarded the job of station master at Kishi station in western Japan. It’s certainly a far cry from the tales of feral strays that occasionally creep into the news and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
As a cat lover, I welcome all these positive stories. We’re supposed to be a nation of animal lovers, afterall, so it makes perfect sense for us to treat our furry friends with such respect. What next? A Canine Cafe? Or perhaps a Rabbit Resturant?! The possibilities are surely endless and quite frankly, the idea of sharing a cuppa with some feline friends sounds absolutely delightful. This is one idea I sincerely hope is brought to the UK very soon!
And on the subject of cats, I thought I’d include a lovely photo of my friend Raoul, a former stray who some human friends of mine welcomed into their home a few years ago. As you can see, he’s settled in very nicely indeed!