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Barking Blondes: Bring your cat along to tea time in Shoreditch!

Joanne Good and Anna Webb

barkingblondes catdogs 300x225 Barking Blondes: Bring your cat along to tea time in Shoreditch!London’s first cat café is set to open, this Summer, in trendy Shoreditch.

Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium (wouldn’t “Mrs Slokam’s” have been more apt?) is inspired by a Japanese concept that has seen stroking and coffee grow in popularity over the last decade.

We guess the theory is, if you can risk the cat hair and you miss a moment with a moggy, why not adopt one on your lap, in your local café.

Animal charity The Mayhew Rescue in North London, will be offering their services  to Dinah’s helping unwanted cats rehabilitate and find homes more quickly. So everyone benefits. We all grew up with the cat asleep in the local china shop window but around food? In these times that’s a bold move. We wish them luck with Health and Safety.

Maybe that’s why there isn’t so much enthusiasm for a London themed Dog café. Is it down to hygiene or the fact that dogs are more territorial and it’s all likely to kick off?

The success of Japanese cat cafes is that they offer those with lifestyles and work schedules and apartments too small to own their pet, the chance to get a ‘cat’ fix. What could be a better anti-dote to a hectic day than enjoying a cat’s calming influence whilst sipping a latte and a Panini?

Sociologists reckon this is because in Japan the population has dropped by over 200,000 in the past decade. Socioeconomic trends are not for the Japanese to become yummy mummies, but to adopt furkids.

Their dog owning population is more than double that of the UK  as is their appetite for canine crèches, couture, culture and everything dog – but for small dogs that fit into their signatory small apartments.

So why haven’t they opened a dog café?

We are told that there are Dog people and there are Cat people in this world.…. Cats are more self sufficient than dogs, so they are less likely to be as attention seeking in this situation. Happy to watch café society from a safe distance. They will come and go as they please.

Dogs on the other hand require more attention- they need to be taken for regular toilet breaks and trained to behave in a well mannered way. Dogs can get quite obsessed by food, and a bit territorial over what they consider to be their titbit. They do require a bit more space than cats, although on the whole dogs are more sociable to new people than cats.

It begs the question cats versus dogs? Are dogs more intelligent? Do certain people gravitate to cats and vice versa? Many cartoons are based on the fact that the two species don’t mix. Is “Fighting like cat and dog” a cliché based on the truth? Many households enjoy the company of both.

We believe that dogs are man’s best friend as, unlike cats, they are immensely adaptable, biddable, loyally sticking by your side, through life’s ups and downs, and loyal to the very end. Cats dislike change, have their own views on training and are perhaps more selfish, maybe cats have got it right?

Our bull breeds are ambivalent towards cats. They are very democratic. They go for any species trying to steal their food. Man or beast.

So dogs and cats can get on famously inter-species communication is the basis of all our human/animal relationships, proving animals as highly tuned communicators not restricted by words and language to get along. There’s no judgement, just a mutual respect that perhaps lacks in our ‘human’ world.

Despite all this, we are guessing, that like so many other eating establishments, the cat café will have a sign saying DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED.

THE BARKING HOUR 3-4pm  THURSDAY BBC LONDON 94.9fm

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  • Thor Halland

    Oh go away. We are having a nice fluffy moment talking about cats and dogs. What next? A rant about Michael Gove or Israel? I am proud of our culture that extends kindness to many animals not just other people (although it still has a log way to go)


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