Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cats and Coffee

I took the gal out this Friday for a little fun. I decided to meet up with her at Ikebukuro after she got off work. I took her to several places and she had a good time. Usually when we are out and about we end up going to a few random places that we just happen to run across. This time we ran across a place I had only heard of but never experienced first hand; a cat cafe.

In Tokyo many landlords will not allow animals. I have never understood this policy because Japanese people love their pets. Anyway, due to the mean spirited policies of many landlords some businesses have found a great way to make some money and provide unlimited happiness for a countless number of people. A neko cafe is a place a person can go and pay a small fee(around 1,000 yen an hour) and drink plenty of free coffee while spending time with lovable, cute beyond words, cats. I have been wanting to take my gal to one of these places for months but I could not find one. As luck would have it we just happen to run across one in Ikebukuro. Actually, there are several cat cafes in Ikebukuro so finding one should not be all that hard.

The majority of the customers were women. This does not surprise me considering the cute factor involved. There were a few guys there with their girlfriends. A cat cafe is the perfect date spot. There is no Japanese gal who would refuse an invite to a cat cafe.

I did notice this one guy who was totally into the cats. He was talking to one of the gals who worked there about the shop`s blog. He was very excited about one of the cats having a birthday. It was a pure white cat named pudding. It seemed like spending time with the cats was the biggest thrill in his life. He was taking pictures of the cats and seemed to treat them as his personal friends. He loves those cats like family. My heart really goes out to people like him. I am willing to bet that he has a really bad job, does not make a lot of money, and lives in a very small apartment. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for such gentle simple people. The cats are a big part of his life. They give him a reason to live, provide him a lot of happiness, and prevent him from tossing himself in front of a train.

I guess I understand those kind of people. I have lived in the gutter and know all too well how even the most simple of pleasures can bring so much happiness. At one time in my life I lived in a pure shit apartment working as a dish washer. I had a mattress on the floor, a PC, microwave, play station and a stack of books. The town I lived in had a high number of stray cats. Once every two weeks I had just enough extra money to buy a bag of dry cat food. I would go to the local park late at night and feed all the local stray cats while smoking a joint. It gave me so much happiness. Feeding those cats while burning a joint late at night in the park got me though the hard times.

Overall, the cat cafe experience remained me of the simple pleasures in life. It really is true that the more we have the less we have in life. There are people living in Tokyo whose biggest trill in life in being able to spend an hour with a few cute cats. It also reminded me of how all the struggles in my life are now being rewarded. I think that I will visit a cat cafe again soon. Tokyo has its own unique kind of stress that I have never experienced before. Cats and coffee may be a simple pleasure but it is one which should not be passed up for sure.


Benjamin L. Belcher said...

Ah, nekobukuro! I want to check out one of these myself, and not even just because it's a great date spot - I really miss my 2 cats from back home.

TheGhost said...

I think that there are a lot of people who go to the cat cafes because they miss their cats or their landlords do not allow pets.

It was really peaceful to be there. I suggest you check one out. You will really enjoy yourself.