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Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium
February 4, 2013 4:50 AM   Subscribe

Cat cafés, where patrons can pay to spend time in the company of well cared-for cats, are a phenomenon in Asia; the first one opened in Taipei in 1998, and Tokyo now has dozens of them. Now there is a crowdfunding campaign to open one in London.

The café, named Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium (after the cat in Alice in Wonderland) will have a Victorian tea-room décor and be staffed by rescue cats.

London shares some characteristics with cities like Tokyo and Seoul where cat cafés are popular: it too has many people who are unable to keep pets due to working hours, rental conditions or uncertainty about living arrangements.

At the time of writing, £21,501 of the £108,000 goal has been raised.
posted by acb (15 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Interesting post, but open fundraisers are against the guidelines. Sorry! Please post again when the funding period is over. -- taz



 
Cat cafes? Pssh... that's old hat! Here in Tokyo we've moved on to bird cafes.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:54 AM on February 4, 2013


There's a Bird Cafe in Dalston. It's a bird café only in name, unfortunately.
posted by acb at 4:56 AM on February 4, 2013


*Pops an extra zyrtec before opening links*
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:58 AM on February 4, 2013


You can go to a shelter and do this for free. They have dogs to play with there too.
posted by Fig at 5:11 AM on February 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can go to a shelter and do this for free. They have dogs to play with there too.

Do they have tea and cake though?
posted by acb at 5:13 AM on February 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


What if you only want to be around cats, not dogs, and would rather do it in a pleasant room with places to sit and table service rather than a cement-floored room with cinder blocks and chain link?

I get what you're getting at -- but while the set of people interested in a cat cafe probably intersects with the set of people interested in cat ownership and animal welfare, the purposes of each of those things are profoundly different.

It's a bit like suggesting that people who are interested in getting exercise ought to get a job in a treadmill factory.
posted by ardgedee at 5:17 AM on February 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


No tea and cake, true.

Not all shelters are chain link and cinderblocks - where we got our pets from has a free-roam cat room that's nice and homey, with places to sit and hang out.
posted by Fig at 5:20 AM on February 4, 2013


I'm not normally the first to knee-jerk the animal rights position, but this makes me... uncomfortable, uneasy somehow.
posted by Dysk at 5:20 AM on February 4, 2013


...this makes me... uncomfortable, uneasy somehow.

Hmm. But we're talking domesticated animals here. I mean, these cats would either be in a house (someone's home) or a place like a cat cafe, and I can't say as I see a big difference.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:24 AM on February 4, 2013


I think it might be the 'selecting cats based on their personality['s ability to help us get and retain customers, and make money]' part. Some things are better done for love, not money.

I haven't thought long or hard enough to get to the root of my discomfort with this, but that's my best guess.
posted by Dysk at 5:33 AM on February 4, 2013


a crowdfunding campaign to open one in London.

So members of the public can give money to this proposed cafe in return for services? Isn't that just...retail?
posted by DU at 5:37 AM on February 4, 2013


You can go to a shelter and do this for free.

Or just get a cat and drink tea near it in your house.
posted by DU at 5:38 AM on February 4, 2013


That's a hell of a lot of commitment, having to find a new apartment that allows pets, paying a premium for the additional damage waiver, and then sheltering, feeding, and caring for a cat, when all you wanted was a kitty on your lap every other month or so.
posted by ardgedee at 5:41 AM on February 4, 2013


I think it might be the 'selecting cats based on their personality['s ability to help us get and retain customers, and make money]' part. Some things are better done for love, not money.

I have to agree with you. If this were a shelter that used a cafe as a means of promoting adoption and raising money to support the cats, I'd be much less reserved about it. I am encouraged that the shelter from which the cats will be 'adopted' is going to remain involved and will hopefully ensure that the cats are well taken care of, but the fact that this is primarily a business venture leaves me somewhat concerned.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:44 AM on February 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, is there an expectation that the cats will be friendly, perhaps purr, or risk losing their jobs? Because, it seems we have an aversion to that kind of employment situation around here.
posted by HuronBob at 5:44 AM on February 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


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