Purina One’s Cat Cafe had cat and coffee lovers lining up for hours, reports Joe Jackson in The Wall Street Journal (4/24/14). The idea is old (cat in the) hat in Japan and Europe but the Cat Cafe pop-up was a novelty in New York City’s Lower East Side, where, for four days, Purina served up "cat-achinos" (with a cat face in the foam). and offered up some 16 felines for adoption from the North Shore Animal League America.
"We hope to find them forever homes, but we also want to start a conversation about cat health," says Niky Roberts of Purina One. In addition to the cats and the coffee, the Cat Cafe featured "daily ‘cat chats’ with the likes of cat owner and ‘Dancing With the Stars’ judge Carrie Ann Inaba and veterinarian Deb Greco." The chat, and other stuff, were also streamed online. (link) "It’s brilliant," says Asuca Fu, one of those who stood in line to get in.
Health laws may explain why a cat cafe is news in America, but Purina worked around the issue: All of the food was prepared off site, and both the comestibles and coffee were served in an enclosed room adjacent to the one where the cats "were busy roaming, pawing and playing." Visitors were then free to take their food into the cat room, designed by artist Linda Griggs, and perhaps fall in love with a cat. No word, as yet, on how many cats were adopted.