We all have our days. Some of them are very different to others and very well remembered. That was one of those days for a Brisbane girl Lauren Pears. And something magical happened one year later. This is what is was:
Lauren came to London in 2009, relocating from Brisbane. Having many new exciting things around her, what Lauren was missing was a cat. Working long hours on games production and living in London where cats are not allowed in most apartments were not the best conditions to have a cat for a responsible cat lover.
Many times Lauren was taking a train. There was one cat at the train station always waiting for people to pat her. On that day Lauren was really fed up with her job and she stopped to pat the kitty. The cat jumped on her lap, started purring and kneading. That made it. Lauren appreciated that simple gesture of love that brought light to her day. Lauren decided to open a cat cafe in London, for all cat lovers to enjoy. (I have an awesome idea – I reckon Lauren should put a small monument near the cafe as a tribute to the stray kitty who was the beginning of cat cafes in London!)
The idea was inspired by success of cat cafes in Japan – congested living, landlords not allowing cats, long working ours – all these factors are true to London. Lauren’s cat cafe is designed to be in a Victorian style. You can come and relax in a luxurious interior while being looked after by amazing staff and cats.
It’s been quite a way through introducing a new idea to the UK market, addressing food safety regulations, answering questions about parasites and diseases, planning and choosing cats. I’m impressed by the research work on cat welfare Lauren has done. It’s a fantastic approach to ensure all kitties are happy and safe in the cat cafe. (There will be even night cat attendants, as I understood!)
Lauren used a crowd sourcing to raise money for the cat cafe. A whooping amount, almost 110k pounds, was raised on indiegogo.com and the work started. Here is the campaign Lauren put together to see if any cat lover would support the idea of having a cat place in London:
Having great people around her, making her research on multiple cat household, being an avid cat lover and placing her heart to cat welfare – all this made the cat cafe dream a reality. The cat cafe was called the Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, named after a kitten from “Alice in Wonderland”. 10 resident cats will be in the cat cafe. All are rescue cats. It happened that a cat mum with her kittens, and her sister from another litter found home in the cafe. Meet the cats, residents of the cat cafe:
So are there any cat lovers in London at all? (Are you one of them?) See yourself – lots of passers by stopped near the cat cafe on Sunday morning to say hello to the kitties relaxing near the window in the Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium:
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium’s opening day is March 1st. The team put a lovely Opening Day Announcement video. I love this kitty video! Check it out to see how cool it will be:
The cat cafe is located in East London, near Shoreditch. It will have plenty of space, including an area without cats (you can see them through the window), the cat cafe (where you drink tea and spend time with cats) and a customer-free outdoor area that cats can access at any time.
Well done, Lauren! Australian cat lovers go far and beyond! I will definitely visit the Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium when I travel to London. Come and visit the first London’s cat cafe, ask your UK friends to come. You can book a seat at the Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium web site is here.
Here is a sneak peek at the inside of the London’s cat cafe from TimeOut:
Photo by: Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium