My last stop on my day of London adventures was something I have been wanting to do for a very long time-a visit to a cat cafe! I've loved the idea of visiting one ever since I saw videos of Japanese cat cafes about five years ago, and as soon as I knew I was visiting London I went ahead and booked an hour at London Cat Village.
I chose London Cat Village because it seemed quite relaxed, and I had seen from their website and social media that they had lots of cat trees and toys, so the cats seemed happy. They also have lots of different breeds of cat, and the fact that they have a Bengal sealed the deal (I used to have a Bengal and would love to have one again!). This is the Bengal, she is called Nala.
I was seated in the upstairs area, but was free to wander around the downstairs section, which at the quiet time I visited was full of beautiful sleeping kitties. The house rules stated that customers aren't allowed to wake or disturb the cats, and that they have to come to you. I thought this was great, as I had been a bit worried I'd feel like the cats were being exploited, but the house rules made it very clear that this was the cats domain and they were in charge. I also had to change out of my shoes into some slippers and sanitise my hands, to prevent the spread of germs.
I visited in the evening, not long before closing time, so all the cats were quite sleepy from playing all day. This one had nodded off on the stairs! This actually suited me because after a long day of adventuring I was pretty sleepy myself, so the cat cafe was a relaxing interlude before catching my train. If you visit during the day the cats are much more lively!
With most cat cafes, you book in advance, pay a fee for an hour or longer stay, and then order food when you arrive, which is charged on top of your hourly fee. I went for a white hot chocolate and a passionfruit cheesecake, which were both really good and not too expensive.
I had to eat and drink rather quickly though, as this fluffy little scamp climbed onto the table and tried to steal my food! It's really important not to feed the cats or let them eat your food when at a cat cafe, because cats have very different dietary requirements to humans so can get ill from eating human food-especially anything with lactose.
I spent a lot of my time at the cafe admiring Nala and watching her play on the cat trees. I played with her with some toys for a few minutes, but generally I was happy just to watch her. She's such a beauty. I was a little bit in love, in case you couldn't guess.
When I returned to my chair it had been stolen by a cat! So the very kind cafe assistant asked if I'd like to reclaim my chair and have the kitty on my lap. Of course I said yes!
It was so lovely to have a cat sleeping on my lap-it had been years since I'd last had that experience and I'd forgotten just how wonderful it is.
It didn't hurt that the sleepy cat was one of the fluffiest, softest kitties I have ever met. SO FLUFFY!
All too quickly the time flashed by and I had to start my journey home. I left the cat cafe feeling very happy, and desperately wanting a cat of my own. That's not going to be happening any time soon, sadly, so I think a return visit may be in order...