Enough of autumn foliage for now.
Let’s talk about kitty cats.
There is a cat cafe a 15-minute’s stroll from our hotel in Kyoto – we stayed at Hearton Hotel Kyoto, accessible by Kasasuma Oike train station – and it is a place where cat lovers go and hang out with some of the city’s most adorable felines.
Cat Cafe Nekokaigi is home to 10 kitties that get to prance, parade, play and snooze in a spacious room littered with fun cat towers, toys and cushions.
Us humans get to sit on comfy cushions along the wall and be one with the cats. Fruit juices, coffee and tea are on the menu, but visitors are not obliged to buy one. One instead pays an entrance fee of 800 yen for an hour with the lovely cats, and every subsequent 30-minute blocks costs 400 yen.
If you love cats, you will find that is money well spent. Being among cats is such a serene, uplifting experience, and watching the little ones go about their things makes me think of how Squibby was when she came to us as a mere month-old kitten in 2005, abandoned at our doorstep and left to die.
These cats general go about their business on their own, with nary a hoot about us humans. But that’s just the way they are! As the saying goes, one never owns a cat; it’s the cats that own us. :)
However, while we were there, some got curious enough to sniff our fingers and feet, while others stepped over us to get to that cosy spot on our cushion.
I guess if one visits Cat Cafe Nekokaigi frequent enough to form a bond with the kitties, one would get more affection out of these aloof felines.
Visitors to Cat Cafe Nekokaigi can purchase kitty treats at 200 yen a pack – limited to one pack per group of visitors per visit to prevent over-feeding.
These cats are smart. They know a treat is coming when a cafe staff heads for a cage in the corner of the cafe, and they drop whatever they are doing and follow her.
Once the packet of treat is placed in the visitor’s hand, that visitor immediately gets elevated to BFF status among every cat.
So when the husband and I got a pack of treats, we got swamped by kitties who commanded our complete attention, which we were too happy to give.
We enjoyed Cat Cafe Nekokaigi so much that we visited it twice during our four-day stay in Kyoto.