In March, the three roommates (myself included) headed to their first cafe.
Cat Cafe, that is.
Animal cafes are places where people pay money to eat small cookies, drink coffee and play with animals. These cafes are conveniently organized by species: dog, cat, rabbit, goat etc. They’ve become wildly popular in Japan and the growing fad has brought this phenomenon across the ocean and straight to the Big Apple.
Roommate Megan found out about the Meow Parlor opening on the Lower East Side and immediately signed us up. There was a one month waiting list. ONE MONTH. So with baited (and not so baited breath) we awaited our chance to get our paws on this exciting trend.
For a mere $4, cat lovers can play for a half hour with the cuddly felines. In the entryway, guests are instructed to remove their coats and shoes before entering the kitty space. Coffee, teas and an assortment of cookies are for sale past the main desk. The air inside was surprisingly warm and dense. Not in a bad or unpleasant way, more like the air in a warm slightly dusty living room housing many…well, cats.
All the cats in the Meow Parlor are up for adoption. There is a book on the table with a name, picture and de-tail-ed description of each potential adoptee. On the floor and along the back bookshelf, boxes and small cat beds are displayed for the cats to roam around and sleep freely. Megan found an adorable little tabby and gently stroked its head.
We stayed, we played and watched the cats. They slept, mostly, unless agitated into playing with the feather on a string or darting past newcomers legs as they walked past. For people who cannot have cats or any animals in their small New York apartments, I saw the appeal of this cat haven. Hopefully each of the fuzzy kitties would be taken to kind and safe homes before the end of their nine lives. Toward the end of the evening, Roommate Daina realized that in fact she was slightly allergic to cats and the three of us had to vacate the premise.
“I’d love to stay,” Daina said. “But we have to go. Right meow.”