Coffee and cats to soothe the soul

Busy city dwellers in London will soon enjoy a first in the UK–a cat cafe. Modeled after Tokyo’s famous cat cafes, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium will offer patrons the opportunity to delight in the company of 10 to 15 cats while they sip coffee and munch on snacks. The cats who will “staff” the cafe–and make it their new home–hale from the Mayhew Animal Home on the northwest side of the city.

The Cat Emporium is the brainchild of Lauren Pears, an Australian-born entrepreneur and senior project manager at Sony PlayStation. A cat lover, she thoroughly enjoyed Japan’s cat cafes when she visited, and believes that Londoners, deprived of pets for various reasons, will also appreciate the experience. Enough people agree with her that she has been able to raise over $165,000 to open the cafe in the Old Street area of the city.

In addition to light snacks, drinks and the company of cats, Pears plans to offer patrons several other activities. They can lounge in armchairs, read books, play board games and use Wi-Fi. Needless to say, there are no time limits; customers may hang out at the Emporium as long as they like.

Those concerned about cleanliness and food quality can rest easy. According to Wired UK, all snacks will come from local bakeries and sandwich shops, while the drinks will be made on-site in a section of the building completely separate from both customers and cats.