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Calico Café Caters to Cat Cuddlers Craving Kitten Companionship

Calico's unobtrusive entrance, off a Tokyo side-streetCalico's unobtrusive entrance, off a Tokyo side-street
Living in Tokyo, the world's largest metropolitan area, isn't easy - even more so if you have a pet. Landlords are increasingly restricting pet ownership by tenants in the city's high-demand rental apartments. Even if you can find one that does allow pets, the shockingly small size of Japanese apartments makes pet ownership prohibitive.

"My name is Fluffy and I'll be serving you today""My name is Fluffy and I'll be serving you today"
The solution? Rent a cat at one of the city's popular new cat cafés! For just 800 yen an hour (about $8), you can get your fix of feline fellowship from - in the case of Calico - one of 19 "staff" kitties. Located in the Kichijoji district of western Tokyo, Calico has been a roaring, er, meowing success to the point where reservations are recommended on weekends and holidays.



Once inside, Calico's customers can enjoy drinks, sip on tea and lounge about, catlike, on comfy chairs and cushions. The latter, embroidered with cute cats, are also available for sale so that café clients can take a little of the Calico experience home with them. Calico is a business first and foremost so a variety of other goodies are also on sale including sweets, cat stickers, even jewelry.



Calico's owner, Takafumi Fukui, says that because "In Tokyo, many people are not allowed to have cats [at home] even if they want to do so," having a place like Calico gives pet-lovers a place to unwind in the company of cats.

Not bad for 800 yen "purr" hour...Not bad for 800 yen "purr" hour...
Calico's customers agree: "This is just like having my own cat as a pet at home. They have a soothing effect on me," according to one 22-year-old female college student at her first visit to Calico. Seems it won't be her last! (via Daily Yomiuri Online, images c/o Kichimani)

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Steve Levenstein
J A P A N O R A M A
InventorSpot.com

Comments
Mar 25, 2008
by Anonymous

Too Dangerous For The Cats?

I'd be afraid that the cats would be endangered by the psychos out there. They'd be willing to spend the $8 for their idea of "fun on a cat". If the cats' safety can be assured, there's nothing wrong with it.

Mar 25, 2008
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

Dangerous? Nahh...

Don't forget, this is Japan - and while they have their share of anti-social and criminal behaviors, in general their society is well-ordered and functional. I'm sure the cats and customers are fully supervised - and the cats are likely not de-clawed!

Mar 25, 2008
by Anonymous

How sad

How sad that our separation from the animals has come to this.

Mar 26, 2008
by Anonymous

not sad at all

i love cats and would certainly have one as a pet in my family members werent so opposed or not allergic to them. so this would be great to go to if i want a quiet soothing afternoon.

Mar 26, 2008
by Anonymous

lolcatz!

i can haz owner?!

Apr 6, 2008
by Anonymous

de clawing

the cats nails are trimmed, to stop scratches :)

Aug 5, 2008
by Anonymous

Wonderful!

I love this!
Is a great idea. Cats get attention (whoever have own cats know that cats love their space, but they also adore to be the center of attention!). I will understand that cats are safe since the "clients" aren't taking any of the cats with them (like in FlexPetz), but playing with them in the Cafe. I hope this business blooms and that the lovely cats be happy all their lives.

So sad that Japan lifestyle has come to this - no cats in your life ;_; But then again, I really felt claustrophobic when I saw the size of the apartments! I wouldn't put any of my cats in that kind of torture.

Sep 15, 2008
by Anonymous

Mistreatment

What do these cats do and where do they go when this cafe is closed? do they just sit in the backroom? Are they taken to the employees' homes?