Cat Cafe. Two words that will strike utter joy and delight into the heart of any foodie feline fanatic. If you haven’t heard of this concept before, a cat cafe is pretty much what it says on the tin! They have become massively popular over the last few years and, after originating in Japan, have gradually made their way over to the UK.
My regular readers (and long-suffering family members) will already know that I’m a cat lady to the core – a fact that I am rather proud of! So much so, that when my very first local cat cafe announced that they were opening their doors in Manchester last year and looking for staff, I was one of the first in the queue!
I actually got to the interview stage for a management position but sadly, no further. I’m still convinced that they could hear my inner cries of: ‘CUDDLE ALL OF THE KITTIES!‘ and became somewhat wary that I may end up trying to sneak a cat or two home with me if they actually offered me the job. Ah well, a girl can dream, eh?
I have since been
stalking following various UK-based cat cafes via social media, with the intention of booking in for few hours if I’m ever in the area (Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, I’m looking at you) but as of yet, the opportunity hasn’t arisen.
When we ran away to get married in New York City this October, I was doing some online research the week before we were due to leave and came across a magical place that blew my tiny mind.
Introducing Meow Parlour, New York.
This hidden gem is New Yorks very first cat cafe. Located on Hester Street, the window is an instant giveaway to what lay ahead inside. The huge white ‘MEOW’ letters and felines snoozing on the window ledge had me giddy before we’d even stepped through the door.
We had pre-booked our session online before leaving the UK, which is highly recommended to avoid any disappointment. $6 (plus tax) gets you half an hour entry into Meow Parlour. You do, however, have the option to extend this if needed – which we ended up doing of course! After filling in some documents and agreeing to the rules, we were free to explore further.
Now these guys are a little bit special. Unlike some cat cafes who only house pedigrees, Meow Parlour take in cats from a local no-kill shelter, with the intention of rehoming them to members of the public.
Nutso is a 12-year-old ginger tom cat. He arrived at the Meow Parlour after being left to fend for himself on the streets of NYC. He may look fierce but he is one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever met. I genuinely would have taken him home if it hadn’t been for the eight-hour flight/legal issues that may have arisen by popping him in my hand luggage.
*Since writing this post, I’ve been informed that Nutso has found his forever home – I adore a happy ending.
This gorgeous little furball spent most of her time asleep whilst we were there so we didn’t disturb her (any cat person knows that you should leave them be when in the land of nod, mice and all things nice!) but she’s a beaut!
Ghost & Yin Yang
This mother and daughter duo were playfully hiding upon the shelves, occasionally jumping down to say hello. Affectionate and friendly, I doubt it will be long before these guys find their forever home.
Stevie spent his time dutifully guarding the merchandise but happily came over for a stroke once he realised that we weren’t a threat.
There were also several other little characters wandering about Meow Parlour and I was truly in my element. We’d eaten lunch just before our visit so didn’t sample any of the sweet treats on offer, however, we did enjoy coffee and pink lemonade.
The Meow Parlour also have an array of board games for guests to use and the merchandise on offer was hard to resist. With three cats at home (two of which are rescues) we couldn’t leave without picking up a little souvenir for them so we bought a trio of handmade fortune cookie catnip toys to take back to England.
Have you ever visited a cat cafe before? I’d love to see your pictures!