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Cat cafes offer cuteness, but no maid costumes. Everybody wins!

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That's right, folks. At least seven cafes in Tokyo are notable in that you primarily pay 8-12 bucks an hour to hang out with a bunch of kittes whilst you drink your tea. This caught my attention for many reasons, not just my girlish glee over the widdle cat-cats: why, in a culture of neatniks whose idea of a good off-the-wall eatery usually involves lots of frilly discomfort, would people pay to hang out with blatantly spoiled felines? More on this story after the jump.

Actually, if you have to ask, an explanation probably won't help. But the long and short of it is that Japanese people love cats and all their (sometimes scary) cuteness, as they have for centuries;  living space and free time are, however, hella restricted in the big city, and pet ownership can be more trouble than it's worth. If you want to chill out after work with cats whose boxes you don't have to scoop, voila! Stroll down to Neko JaLaLa or Neko no Mise ("cat store"), where one couple met and married after cooing together over the same kitty, and make sure you behave yourself. If you bug thhe cats, even just by picking them up at some places, you're gonna get chewed on--by the management. And maybe some pissy...cat synonym, of which I am running out. (It doesn't start with a p, either. One has to maintain some professional pride.)

As for hygiene, fear not! The furniture is in shreds, and cat hair is everywhere, but the facilities are probably still cleaner than your average college apartment. What I really love, though, in my shrivelled little hippie heart, is how Osamu Maeda keeps an eye out for more than just the bottom line at Neko JaLaLa:

"When it comes to the business of cat cafes, you can grow by opening more branches or expanding the scale of existing stores," he says. "But there is a limit to that – what happens to the cats once this isn't so popular anymore?

"That's why I'm looking for cats that I want to live with for the rest of my life. I'm not getting any extra cats."

See, what've I been telling you kids all your lives? Responsibility = sexiness.


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Aoi
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'Ello, luvs. I be a sometime editor o' Jtor, dependent on my school and work schedule. Thanks for reading! Remember, the first one's free. more + disclosures


 



Filed under... #culture #japan #kawaii!

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