News East West
LONDON: When you think of Paris cafes, you think of French philosophers who would sit their for discussions over cups and cups of coffee.
Now Paris is set to open its first `cat cafe’ this weekend with nine cats ready to amuse customers as they walk in to enjoy a cup of coffee.
Cat cafes – or neko cafes are very popular in Japan where customers, who cannot keep pets at home because of small apartments or rental bylaws, go there for the so-called `purr therapy’ – which means they play with cats as they sip coffee and de-stress themselves.
Frenchwoman Margaux Gandelon, who is opening Le Café des Chats opens in Paris’ trendy Marais neighborhood this Saturday, told Today.com, “While researching, I realized that there was a real demand for a tearoom where cats are kings.’’
The 26-year-old woman said, “French people like cats but they don’t all have the possibility to have them. This café targets those French people …”
Gandelon has raised $52,000 through public donations for her venture.
“To relax, be lulled by purring cats, all while drinking a tea is a philosophy that immediately appealed to me,” she says.
To animal activists who accuse her of turning animals into teddy bears for her customers, the French woman said, “Customers don’t go to the cats. The cats decide their own whereabouts. They alone will choose to settle down in the lap of a lucky person. In addition, we’re already working with a veterinarian who will follow the cats regularly to check their physical and mental health.”