Cat cafes have made the news rounds, so you might have seen the photos of cuddly, contented cats in the laps of happy patrons. Of course, cat owners ought to know this is highly unlikely. I…didn’t really think that far ahead.
Snuggles or not, this was hardly something that could be bypassed on a trip to Japan, so we stopped by Neko Maru Cafe in Ueno one afternoon. A short walk from the station, they’re located on the 8th floor of a small office building.
What you see here is the majority of the cafe space, with lockers behind you to store purses and shoes (Though the attendant had us leave our shoes in the small entrance area. Not sure what’s up with that. Are gaijin shoes dirtier? Too big for lockers?)
With the exception of this playful kitten, the kitties were mostly just happy to hang out and sleep.
The cats might tolerate a tentative petting here and there (or disdainfully get up and walk away), but no cuddles were forthcoming.
But he looks so soft, I just want to pick him up and cuddle him! (Don’t even think about it, the instruction sheet is in Japanese, but has an illustration that very clearly indicates NO CAT HUGGING).
Even if you’re not a cat owner, the apathy makes sense when you think about it. People parade in and out of their home all day. And they’re cats. They really don’t give a shit.
Except for the one in the box. Don’t touch him. He’ll fuck you up. Seriously. They warned us twice, just to make sure we understood. Kitty is not pleased by all his house guests. And possibly drugged to prevent a massacre.
Still, if you’d just like to relax in the presence of cats, it’s a pretty peaceful place to be.