In Honor of Yesterday’s National Cat Day…
I give you a brief background on the World’s Cat Cafes…
Who can deny a cute curiously furry face? This world apparently cannot. Cat Cafés have become a bit of a thing over the last couple of decades. Sprouting up all over the place, from Japan to Montreal, people can’t seem to resist the idea of loving on some cats while sipping on their daily Joe.
According to the all-powerful ever-knowing Wikipedia, the concept of the cat cafe was born in Taiwan in the late nineties. The driving force behind the first cat café in Taiwan may have been to catch the attention of its tourist’s crowds, but the spread of these hairball-loving cafes could be attributed to an entirely different rational. Although the first cat café was born in Taiwan, the concept really flourished and took residence in the heavily dense cities of Japan. With a plethora of people in Japan, unable to offer the feline species permanent residence in their homes (due to limited space and building regulations), cat café’s are virtually the only way people are able to get their required amount of cat loving in.
Cat’s Time, the first Japanese cat café to open in 2004, now competes with more than 150 other national cat cafés. A Japanese Cat Cafés main function involves offering up the affection of cuddly independent felines to friendly animal loving souls. For a reasonable price, customers can enjoy a beverage along side the company of a curious cat.
The world’s expansion of the cat café concept has also led to proactive initiatives of cat rescue programs. In Japan, a typical cat cafe offers permanent residence to their cats. However, beginning in Montreal, the more recent world openings of cat cafés were inspired to encourage healthy animal adoptions. Spreading like wild fire, or rather wild cats, cat café’s can now be found anywhere from Paris to Tijuana. In 2014, the first North American cat café opened its doors in Montréal. The cat cafes of the world have only just begun, and they now can properly be defined. As of August 2015, the cat café earned its place in the oxford dictionary.
Portland may not come anywhere close to Tokyo’s population density, but Portland has seen a tremendous amount of growth within the last several years. Could the opening of Portland’s first cat café be a cat-astrophic sign that Portland’s population is on the up and up? Who knows? One thing is for certain, with the welcoming of Portland’s first cat café in January, the city has been signaled that this fairly new business/animal rescue concept has finally caught wave on a local level.
Purringtons (located on MLK & Fremont) has not only survived ten months with a steady flow of cat-loving clientele, but they have also managed to safely and responsibly find permanent homes for more than eighty of their feline employees. If you’re ever out looking for something rather worldly to do on a cloudy day, remember that Portland is now no stranger to the healthy combination of coffee and the cat.