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2014-12-31 691 views
Located conveniently at Bugis Village, above Burger King (you turn left when facing BK and go up to the 3rd floor at the staircase), I'll say this cafe has won the pioneer in terms of location from an Eastie's POV. Significantly less walking from the MRT station too, yay! T was totally awed by the coffee machine when he first stepped into the cafe. He literally went, "Whoa, chio!" at the machine and the lady boss was actually nice enough to entertain him. =.=" Fees for The Cat Cafe is just a one
Fees for The Cat Cafe is just a one-time entrance fee of $15, one soft drink included. You may top up for coffee or other hot drinks and get some yummy pastry to eat while inside the cats' area.
Before entering the cats' section, we're given a laminated piece of paper stating the cafe's rules with regards to handling of cats to read through, and then handed over to the "cat-keeper" (staff stationed inside the cats' area), who asked us to remove our shoes and either change into their rubber slippers or we may choose to go barefoot. Lastly, we had to sanitize our hands with the hand sanitizer provided and viola, we're good to go! We were given a low table by the window and our food and drinks were served after a short while. T got his usual Latte while I went for the Caramel Carameow Latte.
Their coffee isn't fantastic, but it's really not bad. Pretty strong coffee taste with a generous amount of caramel added to give it a rich sweetness. And we also got their Salted Caramel Chocolate Chiffon cake to share, which was highly recommended by the boss herself. I actually wasn't hungry at all (pretty full in fact). But hearing not just chocolate, but also salted caramel, and I was like, "Okay, that too!"
The lady boss's recommendation didn't disappoint us. This is really good! The chiffon cake is soft, fluffy and a little moist, packed with chocolate fragrance and a slight hint of the chocolatey sweetness. The chocolate taste actually isn't rich or sweet at all, but that's the characteristic of such flavoured chiffon cakes. As for the salted caramel cream frosting, it was yummy~! I'm a total sucker for salted caramel AND chocolate, and this cake totally nailed it. The glob of Dulce de Leche at the top sprinkled with some coarse sea salt just perfected it all. Didn't manage to take an overall picture of the cafe as it was full house when we visited on a Saturday evening (waited 1 hour on waiting list). But I took these pictures of the windows upon noticing the cute glass decoration of their cafe mascot, the fat ginger kitty. Heeheehee! The cafe is also filled with low to high wall shelves and "overhead bridges" for tired/annoyed cats to escape from the human clutches.
And now, let's introduce the kitties, shall we? First kitty we met is this 'ginger skinny one', Ginny, who was hogging T's seat. Level of seat-hogging: Ultimatium.
Apart from being very comfortably seated facing T's crotch for a good 30 minutes, she also was very interested in sniffing M's butt (shared by another friend) when they were there a few days after my visit. HAHAHA! At one point she was even licking T's hand merrily. The second kitty we met was this really sleepy kitty, who jumped onto the kitty bed behind my seat and just slept away until their feeding time at around 7pm. And there's also this 'greedy kitty', who not only came by T's bag for a good sniffing multiple times, eyed the cake on our table hungrily, and eventually managed to snatch a bite of some half eaten cake off the other patrons' table. And that's her punishment for her greediness, for like.... 5 minutes? I love how Silver looks like when she's napping.... Here's Tuxedo, the biggest of the 14 resident cats at The Cat Cafe. Here's Jimmy AKA Garfield, Tuxedo's buddy. I found them napping together, cuddled up at one corner of the cafe when I first arrived. Aww...
And Jimmy doesn't really enjoy getting pets. He was swiping away the girl's hand in the first picture. Elly, with the totally "HUH?" look on her face. Hahaha! She loves to prance around on the railing while we're there, hardly touching down on solid grounds. Another cat, whose name I don't know. She (I assume) has striking blue eyes, so pretty! Wave a cat toy at her and she'll start playing! And at about 6:30pm, we suddenly realised that all the cats are 'gone'. Turns out they've all gathered around the feeding area to wait for food!
The mass meowing of these hungry cats when the staff came in with stacks of cat food was so cute. And during feeding time, this particular greedy black cat caught my attention. She gobbled down her food at amazing speed (first to finish) and stealthily went on to steal bites from other slower-eaters. Immediately after feeding, we found this cutie chillaxing in the cat house. Such a cute face! Jimmy then got into a fight with another cat over the roller-tunnel.
And soon after feeding time, their snack-feeding time starts! Do note that the cafe management limits the amount of snacks sold, so if you really wish to feed the cats, go earlier in the day (when I went at 5pm the day snacks were already sold out) or in the evening right after their feeding time at 6 plus 7pm. The snacks is actually a small bowl of wet cat food that resembles our canned tuna. Even overheard a male patron mumbling, "Wah, I really feel like finding 2 pieces of bread to kiap these..."
Do take note that the cats might get a little too excited (claws out, as seen on bottom left... THAT greedy cat!) and will fight over the snacks. The two female patrons, whom I really have insufficient photoshop skills to crop out (sorry!), were both scratched by the cats while they fought for the spoons.
So, take note yeah? And lastly, do make sure you keep your shoes properly. You'll never know which cat has a ribbon fetish.
And now, my thoughts on this 2nd cat cafe in Singapore. Needless to say, they win the pioneer hands down for me. Not just in terms of pricing and location, but the service as well. Hey, this is still a cafe business alright? There's been some harsh criticism by some patrons (actually I don't even know if they're really patrons in the first place), crying cat abuse because the cafe management is too slack on correcting misbehaviours in patrons, especially of young kids.
True enough, when I was there on a Saturday evening, there was an alarmingly large number (compared to the other cat cafe, which I also visited on a weekend, around the same timing) of children. Rowdy children, who were clearly mishandling the cats, terrorising them. I vividly remember this young boy, I reckon to be in lower primary school, who was ruffling Elly's back really roughly while she's perched on the railing.
Once, Elly twisted and stared at his hand.
Twice, Elly once again twisted and the boss told him to stop it.
Yet, he went for the third time.
I was like... boy, do you understand simple English?
Elly raised a paw and the boss quickly reached out her hand and grabbed the boy's hand and put it away, reminding him a 2nd time to stop the misbehaviour.
And the boy's mother turned and stared at the boss and she had to quickly explain, apologetically, that she had to do it because the cat will smack the boy this time round.
Hello, parents... You don't want to (too lazy to?) discipline your kids and yet doesn't like others to do it for you. So what you want?
Now back to the criticisms. Some even compared them to the pioneer, and praised the latter for doing a good job in protecting the cats' welfare, and even went on to saything things like, 'if you cannot get your priorities right, don't try to make money off animals.'
Okay, I suppose this person is against all zoos in the world as well?
I personally don't go very well with the cafe's insistence on allowing kids of 6 years old and above to enter, with the idea of cultivating the love towards cats in children. I feel that that's the sole responsibility of parents and it's really too idealistic on the cafe management's part to want to achieve something so big.
But then again, I respect their big-heartedness and I agree that what's now is to find the balance between caring for the cats' welfare and being customer-oriented. They're not a cat rescue centre. They're a cafe with 14 cats. They're effectively a cafe, still a business, that relies on paying customers to keep going.
And to be very honest, The Cat Cafe is obviously not there yet, but their efforts to make it happen is still worth our warm support.