The cat cafe

Meet Momo. Momo is an orange (or rather, as his name suggests 'peach') coloured cat who spends his day being admired by a stream of visitors who stroke, play and feed him treats. He is a resident in one of Tokyo's cat cafes; places where pet-starved customers can pay by the hour to cuddle a feline and have a mug of hot coco. The novelty of this idea made it onto the BBC news at the start of the year but I was surprised by how many of these cafes actually exist.

The one we visited this evening was in Kichijo-ji (for those who know about such places) and cost about $10 for an hour. Before entering, we had to wash our hands and naturally, it was a perfect opportunity for a bit of shoe removal. We then stepped into a room best described as a cat emporium. Toys, beds, shelves, cat trees and (for reasons I didn't fully appreciate) manga, filled the room from floor to ceiling. Lolling about over these furnishings were approximately a dozen kitty cats. Some were keen to play with one of the many toys you could pick up while others preferred to doze while their ears were gently scratched. The only exception to this peaceful setting came when one of my friends opened the window to shout to a person below which caused a beeline of cats towards this new and exciting 20 foot drop. The window was, fortunately, closed in time.

For people unable to keep their own pets due to space restrictions or for visitors like me missing their own cats, it was a fantastic and fun way to spend a bit of time. On a side note, I was one of the only people there with an actual camera, everyone else simply used their cell phones for photos. An examination of my office mate's phone revealed the answer; it contained a 5 megapixel camera. This, I should add, was an old model. Apparently the new version has 10 MP.