Wake Up Call

Cat Cafes Migrate to UK

London is poised for the opening of its very first cat cafe in the coming months. Modeled on the cat cafes in Tokyo and Taipei, Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium is a coffee shop with a wait staff that includes a clowder of cats.

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The basic premise of a cat cafe is that city dwellers typically can't keep pets. They don't have enough time, not enough space, or it's simply illegal for their urban dwelling. But urban cat lovers still want kitty time and that's where the cat cafe comes in.

A cat cafe lets an urban dweller eat cake, drink some tea, and pet all the cats. Clearly, this isn't a business for everyone, but if you've got a serious need for companionable cats, this will satisfy your cravings without breaking the terms of your lease. The founder of this endeavor, Lauren Pearson, promises to provide all the regularly amenities but in the comfort of a Victorian decorated lounge.

Now some of you are likely snarking over the very idea of mixing cats, food, and drinks in tiny cups. Some of you might question whether the market for such a service exists. Well, it does and people have voted with their dollars, contributing the equivalent of about $164,000 to make Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium a reality. It also sounds like this campaign has done its work, as it apparently has received the go-ahead from all the relevant licensing and regulatory agencies. Also, if you're an advocate for animal welfare, you will be pleased to know that Lady Dinah's will be working with an animal shelter to employ wayward cats in need of a good home.

Of course, it is worth noting that the popular cat cafes in Japan are getting serious pushback from animal rights groups in that country. A new ordinance is set to go into effect that would ban the displaying of animals after 8 p.m. and, thus, put the kibosh on many of the cat cafes' busy post-work business. It remains to be seen whether similar laws will make the journey to the UK as well.

We're glad that the campaign apparently was run by an intelligent, well-spoken person who was able to tamp down her overwhelming love of feline friends long enough to put out a concise fundraising video. We offer you the following video as a window into what could have been:

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Ando Muneno
Contact: Ando Muneno