A cat cafe in Tokyo, October 2013

About a year ago, I went to a cat cafe in Tokyo. It was basically just a middle aged woman’s apartment, full of cats.

We took the lift up to her floor. The doors opened directly into her hallway. She welcomed us and gestured to take off our shoes.

She wouldn’t sell us any drinks, though we were aware of a tiny fridge full of drinks. She told us all the cats were friendly. We sat on her sofa and played with the cats while she watched us, sternly. As soon as she wandered into the other room to check on her back-up cats, one of the cats attacked me. Being English, I wasn’t sure what to do. Both the English and the Japanese have complex etiquette structures, and I lacked the cultural knowledge to deal with the situation. Should I apologise?

I decided to hide the wound. But my hand was bleeding profusely. She eventually noticed. “Did one of my cats do that?” she demanded.

“Yes,” I replied [I’m sorry?]

“Which one?” I pointed out the offending feline.

“Oh that cat is naughty, she is bad. You shouldn’t touch that one.”

The cat cafe madam washed and dressed my wound, with a very cute plaster, admonishing me all the while.

We were told we could pay to extend our visit for an extra hour, but we decided it was time to go. We put our shoes back on, and made our way to the door, thanking her for letting us pay to sit in her flat.

“Don’t forget to give me rating on trip advisor!”



Photos: @juanpenguino

One comment

  1. I also recall, post-scratch…

    Cat Cafe Lady: You can touch any of the other cats, he is the only one that scratches.

    James pets one of the many different cats.

    Cat Lady: No! That cat is naughty too.

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