Don't own cats? Sip tea and enjoy them in cafe
FRANCE'S first "cat cafe" opens tomorrow in Paris with an in-house troupe of nine rescued cats ready and waiting to be made a fuss of by cat-loving customers.
Already popular in Tokyo, where there are dozens of such eateries, cat cafes allow customers who don't have a pet at home to enjoy a cup of tea with a purring cat perched on their laps.
Ms Margaux Gandelon, the woman behind the new Cafe des Chats in Paris' trendy Marais district, said the cats were carefully selected for their social skills, and stressed that hygiene and their welfare are her top priorities.
"My cats are free all day and all night," she said.
Ms Cindy Engel from Strasbourg visited the cafe ahead of its opening for a preview. The 31-year-old welcomed the concept, saying it encouraged her to interact with other people rather than electronic devices.
"The cats allow us to not always be connected to our mobile phones. What's more, the cats create social connections," she said.
"Instead of typing on our computers while drinking a coffee, we talk about cats with our neighbours."
Not everyone, however, was convinced.
"It's a good experience, but eating with cats is not my thing," said Mr Edward Chrismars, adding that he was just at the cafe to accompany a friend.
"It's all right to have them sitting on the sofa, but they (shouldn't) jump on the table or eat from my plate. It's not hygienic," he said.