Adopt a cat at new Pe­tone cafe

The Hutt News - - FRONT PAGE - JANAN JAY

Welling­ton’s first cat cafe, Neko Ngeru, is due to open in Pe­tone this week­end and will also be of­fer­ing an adop­tion ser­vice.

The con­cept is mod­elled on the cat cafes of Ja­pan. Part­ners and own­ers of the lo­cal ver­sion, Richelle and Ken Okada first met in Ja­pan while work­ing as teach­ers.

Vis­i­tors pay $10 an hour to hang out with the cats, and pur­chase ad­di­tional food and drink. Cabi­net food will be sup­plied by cake­maker Tom Brinkel, for­merly Te Papa’s head pas­try chef, along­side Re­vive cof­fee and bread sourced from Pan­doro.

‘‘While work­ing for an­i­mal res­cue groups in Shang­hai, Ken re­alised that an­i­mals need to be seen to be adopted,’’ Richelle says.

‘‘He thought that a cat cafe would be a good place for peo­ple to get to know adopt­able cats.’’

Out­pawed and Wairarapa Com­mu­nity Kit­ties are a cou­ple of the lo­cal res­cue ser­vices the Okadas have built up a re­la­tion­ship with. Their most so­cia­ble fe­lines have put for­ward for the ven­ture.

There will be 20 cats in the cafe, with at least 10 to 15 avail­able to adopt for a flat fee of $100. How­ever, the process will in­volve back­ground checks. Prospec­tive own­ers will be in­ter­viewed to check they’re a good match, and land­lords will be con­tacted to con­firm that pets are al­lowed, ac­cord­ing to Richelle.

‘‘It’s a good cause,’’ she says. ‘‘The cats are all res­cued and most are look­ing for a good, per­ma­nent home. We want to be part of the so­lu­tion to Welling­ton’s home­less cat pop­u­la­tion.

‘‘But, if you can’t have a cat of your own, you can also come and get your cat ther­apy ses­sion with us.’’

Neko Ngeru Cat Adop­tion Cafe is due to open Satur­day, 291 Jack­son St, Pe­tone, Lower Hutt.

JO MOORE PHOTOGRAPHER

Richelle and Ken Okada are be­hind Welling­ton’s first cat cafe, Neko Ngeru.

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