Cities for Crazy Cat Ladies
Welcome to the interwebs. If you're here that means you are probably looking for one of three things: unmentionables, actual research (probably using Wikipedia) or cats. LOLcats, Nyan Cat, Hipster Kitty and Grumpy Cat will happily purr away at your productivity for a few hours. Girls may run the world according to Her Majesty Beyonce, but cats rule the interwebs. If you're eager to travel abroad but are worried about the impending heartbreak of leaving your favourite four-pawed companion behind, never fear! There are many cities around the world that cater to cat lovers; you might even say they're the cat's pyjamas.
Tokyo's Cat Cafes
People in Tokyo are always on the go so it makes sense that many can't commit to pet ownership, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't like a little moggie to cuddle. For a small fee, pet-less patrons can enjoy a coffee and the company of cat or 'neko' of their choosing. There are countless cat cafes scattered around Japan and the number continues to grow, proving particularly popular spots for first dates. There are different rules at different establishments - for example, Nekorobi is fairly liberal but Calico Cat asks that you do not pick up the cats wearing handkerchiefs. I'm sure that will make sense once you're there. What's your penchant? Tabby? Siamese? Persian? Why don't you have a look at the menu while I give you a few moments to overload on cuteness?
Amsterdam's Cat Boat
Once upon a time (in 1966) cat lady extraordinaire Henriette Van Weelde stumbled upon a mother cat and her tiny kittens outside her home on the Herengracht canal. Instead of shooing them away with a broom like some kind of Disney villain, Henriette took the strays in. And then more. And more. Soon enough she earned her admirable cat lady status but her humble walls could barely contain the fury of the fur. What's a cat saviour to do? Purchase a houseboat and kit it out to become a feline-friendly pad, obviously. Today De Poezenboot is a world-famous floating cat sanctuary and a major tourist attraction for holidaymakers in the Netherlands. If you visit outside peak season the Poezenboot volunteers might let you have a little cuddle. With the cats, not the volunteers.
Cairo's Cat Goddess
Cats climbed the scratching post of Egyptian society from humble house pet to revered deity. Egyptians couldn't get enough of their aloof and aristocratic companions. They took them on hunting trips, carved their likeness into stone, named their kids after cats (seriously), wore cat-embellished jewellery and even mummified Whiskers just like the rest of the family. A few years ago archaeologists in Alexandria unearthed an ancient temple dedicated to the cat goddess Bastet along with some 600 cat statues. Whether the site will be dusted off and opened to feline fiends the world over or become the new base of I Can Has Cheezburger is still up for debate. Bastet's subsidiaries in Cairo today still love their kitties - spot hundreds of street cats living it up or visit the Egyptian Museum for cat-related antiquities.
Kuching's Cat Museum
Crazy is such an ugly word. We prefer to use the term 'devoted' cat lady. Fans of adorable little furballs will feel right at home in Kuching on the island of Borneo, Malaysia. The name of the city actually translates as 'cat' so you know you're onto a winner. The piece de resistance of Kuching is the Cat Museum. Step through the giant gaping cat maw and enter a world of statues, drawings, oddities and eccentricities celebrating the feline form. This is an attraction only for the most enamoured of cat lovers who are keen as a kitten to learn about cats throughout history, cats in advertising, cats influencing society, cats in religion and general cattiness. You'll also find statues of your meowing mates dotted around the city, just in case you hadn't seen enough cat effigies for one lifetime.
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