After slipping customary plastic covers over our shoes and sanitizing our hands at the door, we entered a coffee shop on the 13th floor of an apartment building in Shanghai which is home to about twenty cats.
We sat down at a small table, ordered coffee, and waited for the cat experience to begin. It became clear that these fickle cats were only ready to dole out lazy affection in exchange for shredded chicken.
Some cats avoided ground-level perils by resting on perches above arms’ reach. Here they could nap undisturbed, totally unaware that they’re the centerpiece of a business and deserve a fair share of the shop’s profits. But since they’re cats, they probably wouldn’t know how to spend the money anyway, so it doesn’t matter to them.
My favorite cat of the lot was this big grey cat with white paws. It was the friendliest, and the most aggressive when it came to snatching chicken from our fingers. One of the assistants told me that she wasn’t surprised that this was my favorite cat; it has a long-standing preference for foreigners over Chinese locals. Turns out my favorite cat is a big fat racist.
Some of the cats were so ugly that it was hard to look at them without laughing. Staring into the eyes of a bored cat with a flat face, I wondered about the feline social hierarchy—whether this one was ever bullied for being so weird looking, or whether it had ever tried to escape.
If you’re interested in visiting a cat cafe in Shanghai, check out Tommy之家名猫馆. Overall, it’s a fun and relaxing experience if you like cats. A cup of coffee costs about 30 RMB and cat treats and food cost about 20 RMB.
Phone number: 021-33160137