Have an evening at Cat’s Cafe …

We publish a contribution to Lerigion that has been published in Ticino7

It’s hard to write about light things in these days of conflict. The Cat Cafe in Lviv, Ukraine, far away from the bombings, inspires us to open up to give people comfort and serenity and to reduce the anxiety of war by looking at the cat’s seraphim. According to cat-therapy, stroking a cat brings psychophysical benefits. The Cat Cafe Lviv (Lviv, Ukrainian) Twenty cat houses. It opened six years ago Serhiy Olinik, Giving customers the opportunity to stay with cats, hug them or just observe them, drink a coffee. Although millions of Ukrainians have fled the country, Serhiy decided to stay in Lviv to take care of her cat friends: “Those who come to us need hot food and positive emotions.” With two rooms in the basement, the cafeteria can serve as an air strike shelter, providing protection to residents. Serhi is a bold choice, a message of resilience and hope.

Cat Cafe Lviv
Above and below the left is the public meeting place, run by Serhi Olinik of Lviv (Ukraine).

The birth of neco cafes

The world’s first cat coffee was opened in Taipei in 1998, to raise awareness of cat abuse and to save basketless people from both street fighting and cat-catching killings. With the name Neko Cafe (cat, Japanese), they quickly became popular in Japan, probably because of the ban on keeping pets in residential buildings, and it deprived people of their comfortable surroundings. In the beginning it is not easy for cats to get used to the new environment and new “friends”, even humans, but the owners prevent war behavior by separating canals and litter boxes, water and food bowls. Neco Caf adopts very specific rules for the health and well-being of animals and guests, such as washing hands before touching cats, not feeding them, not using flash, not disturbing those who sleep. Admission is limited because cats do not like noise, but you can book on the website or on the phone. In 2012, the rate was 1,000 yen per hour on weekdays and 150 yen per hour on weekends. This is because managers must ensure vaccinations and all necessary care. In most Neco cafes, you can adopt your favorite cat, but cats often choose the right person for them. Neko cafes are also a source of joy for those who can’t afford one because the house is too small or they live with an allergic person, the work costs them too much or they are unable to bear the cost and responsibility of adoption. In 2012, Japan enacted a law banning public display of cats after 8pm but, on the other hand, introduced cat therapy in some offices, where cats roam freely around the desk, purging.

Cat Cafe Lviv
Despite the Russian and conflict, Cat Cafe Lviv is still open today.

I drink coffee all over the world

Cat coffees quickly spread to South Korea and today they are present in New York, Montreal, London, Vienna, Budapest, Madrid. In Paris, after the prefecture examined the required hygiene, some controversy arose over the opening of the Neco Caf. And some animal welfare organizations have disagreed with the initiative. In Germany, the Cafe Katzentemple franchise chain existed and before the epidemic, there was talk of an opening in Bern. In Italy, the first Neco Caf was built in Turin by a non-profit organization. It’s a place to relax with free WiFi, a book-sharing service and a counter for receiving or reporting damage; A behavioral veterinarian explains how to deal with cats, especially kittens: do not shake them, approach them slowly, let them sniff, wait for them to play, touch or admire. Despite the hateful quote “Vicentini Magnagati”, there was also an opening in Vicenza, where they ate with kisses. Milan hosts one of the nine European Foundling Cats and promotes charities in collaboration with female cats. Everything is cat-friendly: from schedules to furnishings, from scratching posts to logs or climbing routes. Cats are sterilized and have a sanitized “toilet” area. The premises are cleaned every morning and evening. Drinks and food are prepared and stored in inaccessible places for cats. Each Neco Cafe has its own signature in coffee and cappuccino with foam in the shape of a paw or cat’s mouth: really, bringing water to the mouth.

Novels by Anna Saliom

“I lived with several Jane Masters. They were all cats.” This is the dedication of Anna Saliom at the beginning of her novel Coffee for cats (Demeter, 2020). Nagore, a woman in her forties, finds a job as a maid at Baker, her Japanese friend Yumi’s new Neco Cafe in Barcelona, ​​where seven cats roam freely, waiting to be adopted in a caterer. Too bad she suffers from ailurophobia or fear of cats. Her financial situation is so precarious that she cannot deny it: if she has allergies it will probably get worse. Nagore is therefore preparing to face her fears and her monthly trial in coffee, learning to make cappuccino with a mustache, filling bowls and serving cakes to attractive customers. Thus he discovers that these seven cats, as tempting as they are, hide the unexpected, great knowledge and become the seven masters of life, finding their balance, concentration and positivity, ready to re-open for love.

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