I’d heard about a café, recently opened, that sounded a little out of the ordinary. Off in search I went amongst the bustle of trendy well patronised cafes around the Bastille monument.
Just a short, 2-minute walk from Breguet-Sabin metro, as I turned the corner from rue Saint Sabin onto rue Seduin I knew I was at the right address. Through the large window frontage I saw the café hosts inside playing games, chasing, snoozing on a comfy chair and another sitting regally by the counter waiting to welcome visitors.
I’m at The Cat Café, 9 rue Sedaine, in the 11th arrondissement.
A cat café? Indeed, a café where cats live, you don’t bring your cats here. This is the big sister of the original cat café on rue Michel Le Comte in Le Marais. At this latest, larger, café there are about twelve lively jellicle cats in residence, all having been adopted from cat rescue services. They now have the look and swagger of happy cats, completely at home in their spacious environment.
Before I’ve even finished taking off my hat and coat Romulus and Remus, elegant Siamese brothers, wander over to check me out. Suddenly though Romulus is off, it’s action stations at the window. Snow is falling outside and causing a great stir inside: “what’s the white stuff, check it out guys!” Macchiaiola the young multicoloured gal pads the window trying to touch the flakes. Some are not bothered; “pfff who cares”, Zeus stays asleep in the red armchair.
So, I settle in for lunch with these guys. I’ve ordered une salade hivernale and my usual café allongé. While I’m waiting there is time to read the entertaining cat biographies; it’s good practice for my French vocab skills, and I can figure out who’s who. Romulus has a collar to identify him from his brother. Sue is the friendly tabby who was first on my lap, Ringa is the most beautiful petite grey who pushed Sue off and made my lap her place. Seems Ringa is also a bit of a drama queen when it comes to regular check ups and cares, but all is forgiven with a cuddle.
My lunch arrives; a generous serving of fresh lettuce with walnuts, Roquefort cheese, apple slices and tasty slivers of smoked duck breast, tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing, accompanied of course with crunchy fresh baguette: delicious. The cats seem to know it’s my eating time and leave me alone for a bit. I finish with coffee and Ringa back on my lap purring loudly.
In case you’re thinking eeewww, won’t it, well, smell of cats? No it didn’t, not a bit. The cats have the downstairs area for their hygiene needs; they are healthy and extremely well cared for. However, if you are not fond of cats then this is probably not the place to choose.
If you are a bit of a cat person, then this unusual café with very pleasant staff, eclectic homely furniture; piano, armchairs, frayed cushions and resident cats is rather a treat. I can imagine myself here for a leisurely late afternoon coffee, a good book and a cat on my lap. I probably won’t bring my knitting, although it could be entertaining for some.