Edmonton Pop-In Cat Cafe

For the first time, a similar format café was opened in Taipei, Taiwan, back in 1998. The establishment became so popular that it soon turned into a real tourist site: travelers from all over the world came to play with cats.

 From Taipei, the concept was brought to Japanese Osaka, thereby launching a real boom in the country of the rising sun. Today, only in Tokyo dozens of cat cafes successfully work.

Of course, Europeans could not ignore the unusual format. The first kotokofe opened in St. Petersburg in 2011, a year later – in Vienna. Then fashion swept the cities of Germany, France, England, and Italy. Next, to the relay, people in business from Canada and the USA joined.

Well, a little more time: and the first Cat Cafe was opened in Almaty! And a vital institution appeared not somewhere in the center of the city, but in a residential area.

 Almaty Cat Cafe has become a new home for fourteen cats. True, one already had time to pick up the “regulars” of the institution. So they became attached to her during the first week of the café’s work.

Cats came here from the orphanage and streets, each with a hard fate. For example, a cat without ears and a tail was rescued by volunteers – it was just set on fire for the sake of fun. Now he though and the shyest, but gradually gets used, gets habitable. All animals underwent precise veterinary control, vaccinated.

In Cat Cafe you will not be given a menu: it just does not exist. The maximum that you will be offered is tea, coffee, and various snacks. They come here not to eat – but to spend time with fluffy friends, to communicate with like-minded people, to relax.

As lovers of the curious places we are, Tokyo, the world center of freakism and eccentricity, has us enthusiastic like no other place we have ever met.

A different evening, as they are all in this city, made us want to have a coffee. At first glance everything that surrounds us is Starbucks, but we knew that something more interesting would have to be. On the 3rd floor of a building, we see the announcement of a place we had heard of. A place where people come to look for what they can not have at home and that is more than just a coffee…

When I lived in Buenos Aires (Jota), a good neighbor named Maria Elena called me a lot. In her act of kindness, this neighbor was always surrounded by street cats. She fed them, and the cats did not take off. In my house there were still cats, since I was 9 years old, so I was never one of the people who say “I do not like cats”, but this ladies did not just love towards a pet, but it was further on, she smelled these stray animals, had her hair stuck on her clothes and, what is not minor, endured the gossip of the neighbors. Having been born in Japan, surely nobody would judge Maria Elena, since, in this country, lovers of raspy tongue cats are so many that it gives rise to a market unthinkable in other places.

The prominence of cats in Japan goes far beyond Kitty and Doraemon. You ever saw those kittens “callers of good fortune” who have Asian businesses at the entrance and who usually sell in the places of trinkets. Most know them as the “Chinese kitten,” but in reality the Maneki-Neko is Japanese.

“Maru” is another Japanese cat that became extremely popular because of the videos that its owner uploaded to youtube in which he gets inside a box. Up came two books and two DVDs of the cat. Do you think that nobody in your country would buy them? Now try to think of it as if you were Japanese. It does not work? Find the explanation in this video:

There are hotels for cats and, for the lonely Japanese who has no one to drink a glass with, he came for cats, which instead of alcohol has a dose of the plant ” catmint ” that produces an effect similar to alcohol in cats in humans.

But we told you that the market was quite big, so why not continue to squeeze it? In a city like Tokyo, where families often live in tiny spaces, few can afford to live with a pet. Also, there is a law that prohibits having pets in the departments, which significantly reduces the “purchasing power.”

What is the solution? Born in Taiwan, but brought to the top of popularity in Japan, we introduce you to the … Coffee with cats !!! Eeeeh? A coffee with cats? Yes, as you read, a place to go for a coffee and play with cats. In Japan, there is no niche too small, and that is why only in Tokyo there are around 40 Neko-cafes ( “Neko” means “cat” in Japanese). In addition to satisfying the demand of people who want to play with these animals, it is said that the relaxation produced by petting them is beneficial for health. Maybe my neighbor María Elena knew about all this and thought “criticize me; you’re going to see in a few years …”

We are both passionate severe about the curiosities of this world, and in Tokyo, we are like Disney. A place where people pay to go playing with cats for one-hour shifts is something that caught our attention, so before arriving in Tokyo, we wrote an email to one of the 40. The first one that appeared with the English page when searching on Google was one “Nekorobi.” We contacted you by telling you about Marking the Pole and our interest in visiting the café to share this very Japanese place with the readers. The next day they replied that they were happy to invite us. Let’s go Marking the Pole … so much effort has its reward!

We arrived in Ikebukuro, a kind of Tokyo red zone, full of masturbating rooms, cabarets, massage parlors, places where a girl passes a cotton ball over your ear while whispering something to you and, among all this, some Neko-cafés. Yes, cats are where they feel best.

After getting into the first coffee with a cat logo we saw, we found what we were looking for. In the door, there was a blackboard with drawings of tender cats because from the pornography to the traffic signals, everything has to have a kawaii touch (tender, childish). We climbed the elevator and found a corridor where more people were waiting their turn. It seems that we are not the only ones. Inside we can see that there are some foreign children, but the rest are all adults, especially young couples or friends. I can not imagine in Buenos Aires telling my friends “she, does coffee with cats come out today?” Well, I think they would imagine other types of cats.

While we wait, we are approached by a girl dressed as a cheerleader for children’s parties, or rather, as a circus outing, and in a very kawaii voice (tender, childish, irritating!) Gives us a list of rules of conduct.

Lisa, the kawaii girl, is our hostess, as she speaks fluent English. He was born in the United States, and at nine he returned to Japan with his family. While we leaf through a kind of portfolio with photos, names, and characteristics of each cat, people continue to arrive, although some leave when they see the line. In the same block, there are three Neko-cafés, but today is Saturday, and this is a very popular outing (I imagine again … “Today is Saturday, we all get together in the cafe with cats!” … hmm, no).