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Think Cats User Blogs => Cat Blogs => Topic started by: Think Cat Ems on March 12, 2014, 02:35:36 PM

Title: Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium - Cats Don't Drink Coffee
Post by: Think Cat Ems on March 12, 2014, 02:35:36 PM
The Cat Café Trend Hits London, Customers Expect Cats to be Awake All The Time.

I am really excited by the news that London’s first Cat Café in Shoreditch has FINALLY opened! Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, Bethnal Green Road, opened on 1st March after an 18 month project to make it happen. I remember first hearing of the plans and doubted that the city would support them –  I’m so glad people did! Before now, I always imagined I’d have to travel all the way to Japan to get a chance to sip tea and snuggle endless cats.

Cat cafés – Out of whose glorious imagination did they spring?!

I decided in light of this momentous occasion to find out a bit more about cat cafes and their origins. I was surprised to find that they were not, as I ignorantly assumed, a Japanese concept. The First Cat Café was set up in Taiwan, but soon after Japanese tourists spread the word, opening the first in Tokyo in 2005. There are now 39 cat cafes in Tokyo alone.
This trend has started to spread to Europe; cat cafes have recently sprung up in Paris, Berlin, Hungary, to name a few. As of this year, four more cafes will be opening across the pond. Other than being places where cats are (which are always magical places, are they not?) to me cat cafes are indicative of a culture of healthy, relaxed, stressed free city-dwellers. Petting cats has been known to reduce the risk of strokes, and many advocate the stress busting propensity of our feline friends. In areas of high population density like London, where a lot of people can’t keep pets due to restrictions on space, and with our increasingly busy lifestyles, these little havens of cat loving make purrfect sense.

Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium

Lady Dinah’s cats – currently a dozen of them – are all rescues. There are THOUSANDS of rescues waiting for good homes, and a cat café is the perfect place for them; they are kept healthy and well fed, have scheduled cat naps where the shop closes for a kitty siesta to ensure they don’t get worn out (ironic, as they spend most of their time sleeping, as we’ll see). The main criticism that I’ve seen (other than the service being slow, which I think we can forgive for their first week of commerce) that I really hope they listen to is: there aren’t enough cats! The cats wandered off! The cats were all asleep! Owner Lauren Pears has stipulated ground rules for cat handling, which includes No Fussing When Cats are Asleep, but whilst reading reviews of the first week I was shocked to see people complaining about sleeping cats and admitting to waking them up.  Some cats can sleep for 20 hours a day, what were these people expecting?!  0_0
Cats being, you know, actual sentient beings, (not simply props to your coffee experience, as some customers apparently thought)  they are likely to Do Their Own Thing and not be interested in human interaction 24/7. In my mind, constant kitty interaction, especially when a cat is being forced to do so, is not the purpose, nor an appealing feature of a cat café.  Selfish behaviour like that has no place in what is first and foremost a home for animals.

However, I can see that the acquisition of more cats would potentially means less pressure on the current twelve to be awake and entertaining for all customers.  At the end of the day, however, if you think you are there to receive premium customer service from a bunch of cats, you are in the wrong place, and probably don’t really understand cats that well. If they’re asleep, tough luck. You’d just hope that one will stroll over in the measly two hour booking slot to make your visit worthwhile! :’) More cats will hopefully mean more active pusstats to admire doing cat things. Or it could just mean a café full to the rafters with snoozing cats, which I don’t think would be such a bad thing!

As soon as I get the opportunity to go there, I'll report back! :meow:

Title: Re: Cats Don't Drink Coffee
Post by: Think Cats on March 14, 2014, 09:30:40 AM
Lovely, nice to see they've re-homed rescue cats too! Hat's off to Lady Dinah!


Just had a coffee with George, asked him if he fancied a sip. He was underwhelmed, last I saw was this tail disappearing through the cat flap. Swish swish! :)
Title: Re: Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium - Cats Don't Drink Coffee
Post by: kitty_cat on March 14, 2014, 02:48:01 PM
Hey folks they do dogs too!!!!

Not sure I like the idea of cat hair in my coffee but then I guess that would be no different to being at home!!!

How do they get through food hygiene standards???  Must have astronomical insurance!! lol!


Title: Re: Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium - Cats Don't Drink Coffee
Post by: Think Cat Ems on March 15, 2014, 01:14:47 PM

Haha, good point... i'm sure the cats and the kitchen are separated...??
Yeah cat hair in tea is just part and parcel of a cat loving house, as gross as it sounds you just get used to it after a while?!

Same with doggy hair, although that's from visiting dog owning friends. :)

Where are these dog cafes? I know someone whose dreams would come true with a visit to a dog cafe!
Title: Re: Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium - Cats Don't Drink Coffee
Post by: gingerninja on March 17, 2014, 04:41:06 PM
Ziggy trawls the kitchen tops, but even if there was a cooked chicken on there he won't touch it! Strange boy only has eyes for his Lidl complete cat food!! ( Bargain @1.99) I don't like that he plants his cat bum on the work surface though. Dettol spray a few times a day!! :meow:
Title: Re: Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium - Cats Don't Drink Coffee
Post by: Think Cat Ems on March 22, 2014, 01:41:25 AM
Sigh, the butts on the counters. Always finding cat hairs in strange corners of the worktops: i never trust a seemingly clean surface these days!

In cat cafe related news, looks like Italy is the next in line of the European countries to jump on the kitty wagon!

Like the London one, they are giving homes to rescue cats and state this as a main part of their mission. See the BBC article here:

I don't know about you lot but I'm really pleased that these places are championing rescue cats :))