“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.” — Terry Pratchett
In Japan, pets are the new kids. As the nation rapidly edge toward zero population growth (1950 fertility rate = 3.65; 2009 = 1.21), cat and dog obsession is reaching strange heights – even for the Japanese. The latest example is the increasing number of cat cafes. According to the GlobalPost, one magazine listed 39 such establishments, up from 1 just two years ago.
At one of these, Calico, “customers pay to sip tea and stroke one of the 20-odd resident cats, representing 17 different breeds.” An hour of doing a cat’s bidding costs about $9.
Customers at Calico are given a set of rules when they enter:
- wear your cat-access pass around your neck at all times
- no one under 5th grade may enter
- cats too young to be held have scarves around their necks
- do not hold or stroke a cat if it resists you
- never wake a napping cat
- bringing cat nip or cat food to the cafe is strictly forbidden.
Oddly, nothing about trying to bathe them.