Dave and I sat on a sofa at the back of the cat café. In front of us, an owner of the café and a tortoiseshell cat named Milady were showing off for two women. Milady would stand with her front paws on his chest and give him high fives for treats, but when she thought the man wasn’t paying enough attention to her, she would paw at his face.
The owner disappeared behind the counter and returned with a bow-tie that he clipped around Milady’s neck. She followed back and forth from the tables to the counter, starry-eyed and not particularly interested in all the visitors eager to pet a feline in formal wear. She only had eyes for her human.
To our right, two cats pounced on the wall trying to kill the zigzagging light reflecting off of a man’s cell phone screen.
Cat bridges hung from the ceiling and lined the walls. A long-haired Siamese cat lounged on one of the highest vantage points in the room and surveyed her dominion below. She reminded me of my cat Olive.
We both ordered “cat-puccinos” because how could you not? But cat drinks are simply no substitute for actual cats and, as you would expect, all the cats were lazing about, snubbing hairless beings they must coexist with.
“I miss our cats,” Dave said. “We should appreciate them more.”
Several of them were sunbathing on the windowsill. Sipping frothy beverages on the sofa wasn’t getting me any cat action so I wandered over to long-haired Luna, who Dave aptly renamed “Sass-bucket.” She allowed me to pet her for a minute or two before retreating to a secluded pillow.
Then a majestic black beast named Sheldon lumbered over. He let me pet him for a moment before disappearing into the women’s bathroom. I followed. There he was, the front half of his body sticking out from the bottom of the handicap accessible stall. He was rolling luxuriously on the tiles. For a little while he let me stroke his head, but then he went more deeply into the stall for a private moment.
I guess it was rude to follow him into the bathroom like that.
Cats must get so weary of our pawing and cooing. Cats ignore our attempts to entertain them. Cats endure our company. They are cats.