Cat cafes -- perfect fur-lonely travelers

One of the worst aspects of business travel is the inability to call upon those things at home that help me unwind at the end of a hard day. For me, an important part of that is worshiping our cats. The Japanese, seemingly always in the forefront of innovations that nurture the soul, have come up with the perfect place for weary feline-loving travelers like me: the cat café.

According to an account in the Global Post, at cafés such as Calico in Toyko, customers pay to sip tea and pet one of the 20 or so cats on staff. The core of the customer base is not, however, travelers like me, but local pet-lovers who are unable to own their own pet. It's also, as you can imagine, a great date-night destination. Calico is not unique, either; the Global Post writer found 39 cat cafés listed in a Tokyo magazine.

Calico has printed a luxurious catalog of its purr-staff offerings, and operates within some strict guidelines. No waking a sleeping cat. No providing nose candy (catnip) to get your feline friend in the mood for some heavy petting. You will, however, get a free picture of your lap pal to take home with you.

The charge is a surprisingly modest $9 per hour. If my 401K doesn't recover in the next couple of years, I may have to open a cat house of my own. An hour with one of our fur children, Georgiana or Dulcinea, is worth more than you can imagine to one's peace of mind.

Also read: Would you rent a dog?

The Tokyo Cat Cafe from Marianne Mancusi on Vimeo.

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