Europe’s First ‘Cat Café’ Opens Its Doors To Public
Get ready for some purring pleasure at Café Neko in Vienna, Austria. This ‘cat café’ is the first of its kind in Europe but they are believed to be quite common in Japan from where this idea traveled to Vienna. Believe it or not, along with the café owners and staff there are five resident cats who will join you for your cup of coffee or whatever it is that you have ordered. Interested? Then read on to know more:-
1) The ‘Cat Café’
The idea first cropped up in the mind of this café’s owner, Takako Ishimitsu, who is Japanese and has been living in Vienna for some time. However, opening this café did not come easy. Takako had to spend three years in hassling negotiations with the city officials who were not open to an idea of a café where cats were roaming around freely. The café opened on May 7th, 2012 and the customers are allowed to interact freely with the cats. And if you get a cat whisker in your coffee, just pick it up and throw it away! In Vienna, the Café Neko is called ‘katzenkaffeehaus” and guests are served home-made cakes, Japanese tea (of course!), and Austrian juices.
2) The Cats
Apart from Takako, your hosts at the café will be five cats – Moritz, Thomas, Momo, Luca, and Sonja. However, don’t expect them to lift a finger for you. They just wander around lazily. You will see some cats playing with a toy mouse while another one lies beneath a chair. Another can be seen sneaking around along the walls while the fourth one can be seen snoozing away inside a wicker chair. During all this while, the customers are eating their meal, drinking coffee, and spending leisurely time at the café. Sometimes, the cats even sit upon the customers’ laps.
3) Japan’s Import to Vienna
You would be surprised to know that even as Vienna is new to such a concept but in Japan, people are quite familiar with such pet-friendly cafes. That is because the law forbids pets from being kept in the apartments. As a result, people have to go out to such pet-friendly cafes to satisfy their need for pet companionship. So, while enjoying their cappuccinos, people in Japan can play with the cats too and they have 39 such cafes in Tokyo itself. In fact some cafes host only black or fat cats in keeping with their customers’ preferences. It is this unusual aspect of culture in Japan that Takako wanted to import to Vienna.
All the five cats have been brought in from an animal shelter in Vienna but now they have a new home at Café Neko. So whenever you are in Austria next, do pay them a visit. They will not disappoint you.
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