Top Comments: The Cat Café Edition


A cafe for cats in Saint Petersburg, Russia

A look at a phenomenon that spread from Asia, after the jump…

But first: Top Comments appears every night, as a summary of the best comments on Daily Kos. Surely …you come across insightful, apropos and.. well, maybe even humorous comments daily. But they make more sense if they are well known…that’s where you enter (especially in journals/stories receiving little attention).

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My regular readers know of my affinity for cats…but when they read about the popularity of cat cafes, they aren’t quite aware of the reasons behind them (if the article doesn’t explain them well). So, a little introduction.

A cat café is a public place where (usually for an hourly fee) customers can enjoy coffee or tea and pastries… while being close to the various felines in the house. One is warned not to try to pick up any of them… but many will gravitate towards you, anyway. It’s a way for customers to have a chance to interact with pets without obligation and also relieve stress. Regulations vary depending on food service level and local ordinances.

These places started in Taiwan in 1998, and quickly spread to major cities in East Asia: Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok and Singapore. The impetus was that many people live in high-rise apartment buildings where landlords don’t allow pets…. or charge one arm and two legs for the security deposit. While adoptions are indeed possible, this was not the original concept.

On the other hand: those in the West are (often) partnered with an SPCA, Humane Society or other animal shelter to facilitate adoptions. Many shelters are outside towns or villages… due to concerns about barking dogs. Cat cafes are often located on (or near) main streets, to generate vital foot traffic.

As noted, regulations vary by locality. I went to my high school reunion in 2019 and visited a cat cafe that morning. I was the only one there at 11:00 am so had the opportunity to have a long chat with the service clerk (who had an older brother who attended my high school years after graduation). She noted that a cat with a red collar often had a traumatic life before being given to a shelter, so be careful around them.

Since they had limited food in the cat room (wrapped donuts, coffee cakes, etc.) and a Keurig coffee/tea maker, the regulations are less onerous, I was told. Since I’ve been there, it looks like they’ve added a more elaborate cafe operation later on – behind a large window, for those with allergies or just want to watch from a distance.

The cat cafe I visited

One particular location of note: A facility in Chicagoland that only has cats with feline leukemia virus (FeLV), so a cat cannot be infected again, and these cats are often harder to adopt .

Let’s finish with this Al Stewart classic from 1976.

Now on to the best reviews:

Of the sphynx :

In the diary of annielli about the decision of the 11th Circuit – new reignis a beautiful pencil summary of the simple legal issues surrounding the 45 appropriation of government documents.

And of Ed Traceyyour faithful correspondent this evening ……..

In the diary of sfbob about the October home football game for the University of Massachusetts when they host Liberty University on campus Pride Day – this comment by mabon.

Then enjoy Jotter’s wonderful (and now everlasting) *PictureQuilt™* below. Simply click on the image and it will magically take you to the comment containing that photo.


September 21, 2022

(REMARK: Any missing images in the quilt have been removed because (a) they came from an untrusted source that somehow slipped into the comments, or (b) it was an image from the DailyKos image library which didn’t have permissions set to allow others to use it.)

And finally: yesterday Top Mojomega-mojo intrepid Mike …… which saved this feature from oblivion: