To be honest, everything that involves cats excites me (you should have seen me when I found out about the Tama – a cat themed train in Japan). Just to clarify I am definitely not wearing knitted sweaters with cats on them (although once I saw a coin purse with cat butts print on it and I thought it was really fancy).
I was walking at the heart of the city’s financial district – Boat Quay, where I stumbled upon a different breed of cat among the sea food and fish and chips restaurants, housed in the conserved shophouses.
Neko no Niwa (Japanese for ‘Cat Garden’) has 13 rescued cats that roam around in an interaction space. After paying a “cuddle fee” of $12 the visitors can play, groom or relax in the cat company. Centrally located, the cafe has a long list of bookings, especially on weekends and usually it is not possible for walk-ins.
In fact Neko no Niwa is completely different from the cat cafes in Japan, Korea or Thailand. While the cat cafes there usually feature only pedigreed cats, Neko no Niwa’s owners Sam and Sue decided to only adopt cats for their cafe.
Sam and Sue want to show the world that it doesn’t make any difference if the cat is a pedigree or a street breed. They are doing their part in educating people why it is important to adopt, by letting the visitors interact and get to know the quirky animals, while drinking a hot cup of chocolate. Even though the eats and drinks list is restricted, they do offer some delicious caramel crumble, cheese tarts and iced teas.
When I entered the cafe I was asked to remove my shoes and to wash my hands. This is done so the cats won’t get any disease from the outside world. After a quick briefing on the cat rules I entered the interaction area. A spacious and sunny room with lots of cat toys, cat climbing furniture and cozy sofas.
While some of the cats were napping others were engaged in really important tasks such as staring out the window, eating napkins or scratching the furniture.
Even though I didn’t manage to convince the cats that it is really comfy in my lap I enjoyed my stay at the cafe. The felines will need some time to adapt to you, but without any doubt you will have the purrfect coffee in Singapore.
Need a few more pictures to keep you going?