London's first cat café, Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium, is set to open its doors tomorrow, March 1. The tea shop will be home to rescued cats, who will be free to snuggle up to guests or be aloof, according to Lady Dinah's website:
"Our venue is designed with the emotional and physical needs of our resident rescue cats in mind and our induction process for the cats is long and gradual to help give them the time, space and resources they need to form a harmonious household. We provide a safe, comfortable place to live and a home where they can exhibit their full range of natural behaviours. Cats will have free choice at all times to stay indoors with patrons, or relax outside for some time-out in their private two-story, cats-only garden."
Cat cafés got their start in Japan, and are now becoming an international trend. There are also efforts to open a cat cafe in Montreal. Cat cafés are not only homes for the rescued kitties, but provide city residents who may not have the time or space to properly care for pets with some of the benefits of hanging out with feline friends.
It's located in in Shoreditch, one of London's trendiest neighborhoods. I heard about the café from my friend Bethan McKernan, a London-based reporter. "I’m excited about the first cat café opening in London," she says. "God knows they kept us waiting long enough – there was an online marketing campaign that lasted about a year and it looked like the project was morphing into a overly mawkish hipster magnet." That won't stop her from enjoying an afternoon there. "All the cats are from rescue shelters, which is great, and in a city where it’s hard to keep pets."
You can learn more about each of the cats on Lady Dinah's Pinterest page.