FRANCE’S first “cat café” opened recently in Paris with an in-house troupe of nine rescue cats ready and waiting to be made a fuss of by catloving customers.
Already popular in Tokyo where there are dozens, cat cafés allow customers who cannot have a pet at home to enjoy a cup of something hot with a purring cat perched on their knees.
Margaux Gandelon, the woman behind the new Café des Chats in Paris’s trendy Marais district, says the cats were carefully selected for their social skills and stresses that hygiene and their welfare are her top priorities.
“My cats are free all day and all night,” she says.
Cindy Engel from Strasbourg visited the cafe ahead of its opening for a preview.
The 31-year-old welcomed the concept saying it encouraged her to interact with other people rather than electronic devices.
“The cats allow us to not always be connected to our mobiles. What’s more, they create social connections,” she says.
“Instead of typing on our computers while drinking a coffee, we talk about cats to our neighbours,” she adds.
Not everyone, however, is convinced.
“It’s a good experience, but eating with cats is not my thing,” says Edward Chrismars, adding that he was just there to please a friend.
“It’s all right to have them sitting on the sofa, that’s OK, but they can’t jump on the table or eat from my plate. It’s not hygienic!” he says. – AFP
at the café des chats in Paris, one can sip tea in the company of cats. – aFP