Friday, January 8, 2016

Cat Cafes come to these shores

So, it's been several years now since I first heard of the Cat Cafes in Tokyo, where you could sit and have a cup of tea while petting the shop's cats. I've been waiting for them to take root over here, and have seen them pop up here and there but never anywhere close enough to visit one. Now looks like they've finally reached the Seattle area. Here's a news story about Seattle's new cat cafe, and another link to the cafe's website. May be a while before we get downtown to visit this, but it's definitely on the list of things to do in 2016.

Meanwhile, closer to home, here's a relatively brief cat report of how things are going in the Tukwila cat room.

We’re currently at five cats: ZOE, FLURRY, MYLES & BILLY, and HOUDIN (Houdini)

Sorry that HOUDINi’s adoption failed to take, but I’m glad to have him safely back with us again, and with his energy and curiosity and playfulness undiminished. FLURRY stayed inside most of the morning, so her path and his did not cross much, which is just as well for both. ZOE came out and claimed her favorite spot, from which she reigned all morning. MYLES came out as well and, after a spat or two, tried to play with Houdin. When Houdin wouldn’t play, Myles started stalking him, trying to figure out what was wrong with him and why he wdn’t play. His scrutiny was rewarded: towards the end of the morning my fellow volunteer, who does the shift after mine, had them both playing with the same ping-pong ball, batting it back and forth between their sides of the room. BILLY had it the roughest of everyone, since staying in his cube didn’t keep him from Houdin’s coming in and hissing at him. Poor Billy! He did better when I moved him up to the cage-tops, but seems to prefer his cage best. 

Flurry also stayed in most of the morning, aside from when her place needed cleaning, welcoming attention from inside her safe place. Towards the right kind of toy she’s a fierce little predator on her own ground but also very affectionate and gentle. Her snug place in exile turns out to be the basket on the bench; she esp. likes it if you drape a blanket to shield her from the inside (and worry about the other cats) while giving her a good view of outside the room (thanks to my fellow volunteer for sharing this tip with me).

Four out of five cats had a walk (everyone but Flurry). They were nervous and tended to be vocal, but think Myles did the best. I was impressed when we rounded a corner and saw a big black dog not far away with its owner: he simply sat down and waited for it to move along, which it did.

Flurry continues to love the peacock feathers, and Zoe thinks yarn just may be the best thing ever. Sorry to hear she had another of her hissy fits Tuesday; she was on her best behavior on Wednesday, welcoming attention (up to a point) atop her favorite cat-stand. Flurry continues to be a little sweetheart and Myles an all-around great cat. Need to spend more time with Billy next week; he’s so quiet it’s easy to neglect him while dealing with the problem cats, which is hardly fair return on his good behavior. Think Houdin will calm down some after he’s been back with us a few days and gotten used to the other Residents.

Health issues: Zoe has cat acne on her chin, but that’ll improve if we all try to take a little off day by day. She’s starting to get a tangle in the fur on her chest, but it didnt’ seem bad enough to upset her over, so thought I’d wait and deal with that next week. Didn’t check anyone’s ears, but suspect Myles’ cd use some attention.

—John R.

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