Cat Cafe

On the same day we visited Fort Washington, Ian and I also went to the Crumbs & Whiskers Cat Cafe in Georgetown. Cat Cafes are one of those things that I thought was a bit weird when I read about it in another breathless “the crazy things they do in Japan” type articles, but now that I’ve been to two I can’t believe they aren’t all over the place.

The first cat cafe I went to was in Singapore. I was exploring the city with a friend of mine when we happened to walk by. I stopped us in front of the door and suggested we maybe give it a go, but I tried to act a bit coy about the whole thing lest I knock a few notches off my manliness quotient. He also acted slightly intrigued but less than enthusiastic, but later we figured out we both really wanted to go in and were just trying to act tough if front of the other one. So later on we gathered like four other dudes and hung out in a cat cafe in Singapore for two hours. The man working the counter was slightly incredulous and then I think slightly scared that six adult Americans wanted to visit his otherwise quiet establishment, but we had a great time.

So upon my arrival back in the States I looked around to see if there were any cat cafes. For those of you a bit lost in my cultural worldliness, a cat cafe is a place with a bunch of cats that will also usually serve you coffee. You pay some nominal entry fee and then get to hang out with cats for an hour or two and then also drink coffee. If you’ve never heard of a cat cafe before at this point you’re probably thinking “OMG WOW THAT IS THE GREATEST IDEA EVER WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?!” and I am over here like “DUDE I KNOW THEY ARE AMAZING WHY AREN’T THEY EVERWHERE?!” so I’m with you. The point is the only cat cafe I could find within several hours of me is the relatively new but absolutely awesome Crumbs & Whiskers Cat Cafe in, as I mentioned, Georgetown.

You can make reservations, which the website recommends, and ours was for 3:30. While Ian and I were there on a Wednesday afternoon we had the place to ourselves (and 20-odd cats) for most of our 75 minutes. When you walk in they also take any drink or snack orders you might have. These take a little while to come out, because they run your order to a fashionable-named “Macaron” down the street instead of make it in-house. But that’s alright because what you’re really there for is cats and boy do they have a lot of them.

I surprised Ian with our visit to Crumbs & Whiskers. We had to kill 15 minutes while we waited around for our reservation, so now that we were on location I explained the idea of a cat cafe to my uninformed and unsuspecting brother. He posed such serious questions as “why would you need a reservation for a cat cafe?” and “why would I want to visit someplace with cats?” but as soon as we walked in he had a huge smile on his face. The man loves animals and since we no longer have any pets of our own (man oh man I want a cat) his access to cute and cuddly things to pet is limited.

Ian was nervous at first and we sat sort of awkwardly admiring the cats. Ian doesn’t always have the best luck with animals but these cats are professional cats. These aren’t the amateur cats your friends have, these cats spend their whole lives being petted and loved and played with and are not at all surprised by the stranger calling them cutesy names in a baby voice. That’s their life now anyways; all the cats at Crumbs & Whiskers are rescue cats and are up for adoption, which makes it totally like “why don’t I take all of these cats home with me right now?” So Ian very quickly warmed up to the cats and got to spend a whole 75 minutes petting the very friendly cats and playing with them using the many cat toys spread around the two stories of Crumbs & Whiskers.

Ian managed to make particular friends with one cat, Brandy. The furniture in Crumbs & Whiskers is largely comprised of very hip pads sitting on the floor that serve as couches. This puts everyone at just about a perfect cat-level. Brandy was a playful little calico that very quickly sidled up to Ian after he sat down on one of the couches. Ian showed some affection and Brandy showed some affection back and Brandy was soon curled up asleep and purring next to Ian while Ian was on the phone telling everyone he knew how awesome it was.

Eventually though it was time to go home and we headed out. My only regret is that Crumbs & Whiskers is not closer to where I live. They offer all-day passes for the person who always wanted to work in an office full of cats, and they offer yoga classes for the person jealous of those YouTube videos. They also have special screenings of the Aristocats which I’m actively considering making the hour-long drive to see. Why aren’t there more Cat Cafes?