Love them or hate them, the internet is undoubtedly ruled by cats. Memes, cute videos, and funny photos. Studies have even shown that cat videos are good for you! But why reap the benefits of being cat-crazy merely from a 4-inch screen? We highly recommend visiting a pet cafe to undergo low-cost, pur-ry therapy.
Welcome to Gilmore Cat Cafe, one of the newest pet cafe joints to hit Manila. They just opened in April this year and they’re inviting all cat lovers out there to this furry abode.
The first floor of Gilmore Cat Cafe is restaurant territory. There’s not a lot going on here but it’s comfortable enough to lounge in for a few meals before playing with the cats in the upper floor. With a few tables and chairs, books for borrowing, a fish tank in the middle, and a shelf with trinkets and cute items, the cafe has the look and feel of a simple home.
Meet the Cats
The second floor is the cafe’s cat haven. Seemingly like they’re in a town of their own, the cats lounge around in furry cat condos furnished with toys, hammocks, and scratch posts. They’re feline royalty and this floor is their Palace of Versailles.
Before heading to the upper floor, you’ll need to register and be quickly oriented on a few house rules. A quick spritz of alcohol is also required.
In the second floor, it was generally quiet and most of the cats were hiding or sleeping in their nooks. Anyone who’s owned or played with cats before can tell you it can take some time before these territorial creatures cozy up to humans.
It’s important not to force cats to play with you, to let them take their time, and to not take it too personally. It’s not you, it’s them. Feline nature, bro.
Some of the other cats don’t really like humans, or the other cats. You can ask the cat handlers to assist you and they’ll recommend which ones you can play with. The cafe assistants memorize all the cats by name which is quite amazing given that these cats don’t have name collars and that some of them look quite alike.
Cats really don’t take photo direction well. Some of them cannot be bothered to pose for pictures or to cuddle with. Pick a few of them up and they squirm away and jump down. Luckily, cafe assistants know which cats are the ones you can cuddle with, purring guaranteed.
Tapping the cats’ metal food bowls signals them that it’s time for dinner. It was a classic Pavlovian scene wherein one by one they started coming out triggered by the familiar sound that tells them food is coming.
And when their bowls were laid down on the floor, these cats just swarmed, pounced, and feasted on the cat feed.
It was cute just watching them enjoy the food. I felt kind of bad for the smaller cats because the bigger ones got the lion’s share of the loot.
Look at this little guy and I dare not to feel warm and fuzzy.
When playing with or picking up the kittens, handle with care. They’re precious cargo and when you put them in your arms or your hands, they will climb up on your shoulder or try to jump down. Just like this little monkey that’s on my shoulder.