Chubby cat mingling and fur in my mouth. Overpriced drinks and oil paintings. It seemed as though Caturday had just about everything you could ask for from an animal-filled cafe.
With National Cat Day just around the corner, my friend Chris and I decided to go do some research for work at one of Bangkok’s finest cat cafes. What happened at Caturday was a mix between magical, gross, weird, and beautiful.
Chris lead me through a rambling maze of restaurants and alleyways until we got to the cat lover’s paradise. I would have never found Caturday on my own, and what a disappointment that would have been. My life would have never been the same.
We took off our shoes, washed our hands and went inside the feline oasis. Insane cat paintings hung on the walls. Some Halloween decorations completed the kitschy decor.
Chris informed me that the place was usually packed, and guests have to get on a waiting list to enjoy the wonderland. I guess luck was on our side that night, and we were given a seat on the floor immediately.
At first, the cat interaction was a little slow to roll. We looked around at the lounging cats and wondered what we could do to win their attention. After ordering some food, the cats slowly made their way toward us, although they didn’t really want to be touched.
We started watching the professionals work, and by professionals I mean the other guests who clearly knew a thing or two about wooing cats. One lady was a particularly giddy genius. She brought some large plastic shopping bags with her, and the cats went nuts. They frolicked in the bags and she scooped them up for hugs (totally against the “do not pick up the cats” rule, but clearly she was a regular and way beyond the laws of Caturday).
I had been amazed by the bag lady’s expertise, but she turned out to be a TOTAL AMATEUR compared to the next regular to stop into the cafe. I will forever remember this woman as The Cat Whisperer because she was truly amazing. Not only did she know every cat’s name, but she was a pro when it came to playing with them.
She knew exactly how to feed the cats (see photo below for the moment she let ME feed them, and I laughed like a maniac) and was generous enough to persuade them to pose for our photos. I don’t know what she does for a living, but clearly this was her true calling.
Chris and I ate very mediocre “Cheesy Fries” and took 40,000 iPhone photos of the cat-filled alternative universe. Sometimes we would be very disturbed by how much cat hair was covering us, and sometimes we would be grinning like idiots at how cute the cats were.
While everyone (including us) was taking photos left and right, some people were really getting into the photography. Cute cat snapshots were turning into full-blown photo shoots. Selfies in Thailand are no joke.
When the soggy fries were gone and I got cat hair in my mouth, it was time to leave. Do I need to go back to a cat cafe? No. I’m not really a cat person. While they are cute animals, I don’t need to hang out on the floor taking pictures of them forever. Caturday seemed to be a wonderful escape for people. At the cat cafe, they could get away from the rest of the world and be around adorable animals. It was special to see people experiencing such pure joy, even if it left me very, very itchy.