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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Appointments with Cats 

There was quite a cute story on Reuters about a cat café in Tokyo where people can have tea and play with the cats:

2007. Calico is one of at least three cafes that have opened up in Tokyo this year where visitors can mingle with cats as they enjoy a cup of tea. Picture taken December 3, 2007. REUTERS/Michael Caronna (JAPAN)

But here's some more, serious, business-like information from Asahi Shimbun. “Cat Café Calico” is only one such enterprise:

Cat Cafe Calico: a 1-minute walk from JR Kichijoji Station. Has about 15 cats (American shorthair, ragdoll and others).
Open daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m. The charge is 600 yen for the first 30 minutes and 800 yen for an hour. An additional 120 yen will be charged for every 10-minute extension. Drinks are 150 yen and up. Call the venue at 0422-29-8353.

I think this is a bit odd and needs some examination. We've already seen stories about special robots designed to talk to old people that no one else can be bothered with. Now we're looking at people having to pay to spend time with a cat, the modern urban space being too well-planned for such luxuries. Wouldn't you think that fondling cats was one of those self-evident human rights? Perhaps the most basic of all?



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