One Sunday in September, I found myself in a cat cafe.
It was the time when there was plenty of buzz about cat cafes, which seemed to be popping up around the island like bubble tea shops.
Being a cat person myself, I got sucked into the hype.
The cafe's fee of $15 granted me entry to the premises and a complimentary soft drink that I could upgrade to coffee with a top-up of a few dollars.
After paying up, the sliding doors opened, and my friend and I were greeted by a frenzy (not from the 15 cats there, mind you. But more on that later).
We were ushered to a table near the window and told by one of the servers: "Here's your seat, enjoy your coffee and wait for the cats to come to you."
And that was when I spotted something odd - the cats were all opting for high resting spots, out of reach of humans.
After waiting for a long time, a cat finally came down, allowing me to give it a few pats and head scratches.
But suddenly, a group of children surrounded the poor kitty.
Meowing at it, they started pulling its tail in a bid to get it to go with them. The cat escaped to higher ground.
Others in the cafe were holding their camera phones and chasing the felines around.
If I were a cat, I would get pretty stressed out. Even as a human, I was a tad irritated at the ruckus.
My friend and I both felt the same way, as we finished our $18 or so coffee and made our way out of the cafe.
I suspect that people feel they NEED to get a shot or have some interaction to get their money's worth. Which to me, means that any kind of paid interaction with cats is a bad, bad idea.
If you want to hang out with cats so bad, maybe just sit at the void deck and enjoy the strays there. They are usually more friendly and less stressed out.
This article was first published on December 21, 2014.
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