At Last, London Hipsters Have Created a Café for Cat Ladies

Posted on October 13, 2016


We recently adopted a kitten and last week I took her for a round of vaccinations. The next day I took my 12-year-old son for a round of vaccinations. The cat was much easier. Part of the problem is that society frowns on transporting children in pet carriers.

(When my oldest son and I went to PetSmart to buy a pet carrier I dared him to ask the lady at customer service ‘Where can I find the portable kitty prisons?’ She didn’t laugh.)

Some readers may remember my cat Megatron (Goodbye, Megatron). We hadn’t had a pet in a few years but I realized it was time when I did shows in London last month and accompanied some friends to a cat café. If you’re not familiar with a cat café, let me first clarify, it’s a café run by humans not cats.

The café had 14 cats, and the collective indifference was intoxicating. The cats roam freely and you’re allowed to pet them if they come to you, but you can’t pick them up or disturb them while they sleep. Cats are already our most privileged pet, and giving humans a set of rules for interaction that surrenders all the power to the cat, only served to enable and encourage their indifference. I found myself desperately seeking cat validation, and knew it was time to adopt a cat I could disturb while it was sleeping.

The London Cat Village describes itself as ‘not your traditional cat café’. That sentiment is open to interpretation:

  1. If this cat café is claiming to be untraditional, this suggests the existence of a traditional cat café, meaning the world contains multiple cafes of cats. Perhaps it’s time for the world’s economies to specifically measure hipster contributions to GDP so we can determine what percentage of the economy is ironic. Every month we could create a pie chart that said ‘15% Technology, 11% Finance, 6% Like, Whatever’.
  1. If this café is untraditional, that means cat cafes have been around long enough to have established traditions. ‘How long?’ you may ask. Well, let’s just say archaeologists are re-considering the meaning of all those cats in Egyptian hieroglyphics.
  1. If your cat café markets itself as ‘not your traditional cat café’ I would assume you have specific gripes against those traditions. This makes sense. One can understand the inherent objections in passing down rules of behavior or general principles for cat cafes since cats would object to anything that could be considered dog-ma. (Do you see what I did there?)
  1. Or maybe ‘traditional’ wasn’t intended to modify ‘cat café’ but rather ‘cat’, as in ‘not your ‘traditional cat’ café’. The cats might qualify as untraditional because of their behavior, perhaps they’re more amused by ideas than laser pointers; or perhaps they’re untraditional by challenging our stereotypical definition of cat. Maybe the café simply contains a rack of clothing curated to evoke an ironic sense of cattiness, e.g., a sweater that feels scratchy and also sheds.

If you’re interested in learning more about the troubling issue of cat privilege you might enjoy this post by blogger She’s A Maineiac: Dear Human

Posted in: cats