I’ve been wanting to go to a cat cafe for a while, if I am honest more to see who else goes to cat cafés than to see the cats.
At the last attempt, it was closed, for cleaning the cafe or the cats I’m not sure.
But THIS time, I got a little peek into the surreal world that is cat cafe culture. Apartments in Tokyo are tiny so not many people have pets of their own. But there’s no need, you can pop along to one of the many car cafés in town and meet….
I was a bit nervous that I would meet Hina instead…..
Unfortunately I was too late to meet Lala, but she is still remembered fondly.
So what do you do? First, you enter a double door system a bit like a bank. I’m not sure if that’s to keep the cats from running out onto the road or to prevent imposters trying to worm their way in to this surreal life of luxury.
Next, in a process akin to entering a neonatal or intensive care unit, you must wash your hands. Not on the way out, only the way in. A “beginners” entry free for half an hour – seemed enough especially if Hina was on the go – is around £3, and you have to buy at least one drink.
Rule number one is that you must not do a cat violently. After studying the rule book, I think you are allowed to do a cat in a non violent manner. The ones on duty that day, however, said with their eyes, “Hello. Welcome. Go away. I’m busy.”
The job of the luckiest cat lover in Tokyo is to keep the wall mounted array of cat toys in an orderly fashion and to play with the cats for an ?8 hour shift. Hats off to him, he was good. He managed a few flurries of excited cat movement. They looked at me in utter disdain when I tried. If you want a cat on your lap you need to ask for help, and one guy was happily sat in euphoric cat bliss reading a book with, I think, the manager, on his knee. I just had one, high above me, looking ready to leap onto my head at any moment.
It did look, potentially, quite a nice way to relax, and we have/had cats at home. I love cats. Mine do stuff like bring in half mouse corpses and lay them at my feet. These Tokyo cats have attitude.
Here are the details of this cat cafe, Neko Jalala…..
Tokyo, Chiyoda, Sotokanda, 3 Chome−5−5, 末広町ハイム 1F
To conclude, let’s just pay our last respects to Lala after whom this cafe was named.