Here's where cats rule, humans obey and fur is considered sacred. Su Aziz strokes the ego of her new-found feline friends as she reports.
There’s no denying it, Muntri Street in George Town is becoming very hip what with beautifully restored old Chinese shophouses that are now boutique hotels, bars, eateries or a museum (or two). Now, add Purrfect Cat Café to that line up to boost the street’s popularity even further, especially with the trendy, furball-loving, tech-savvy 20-somethings.
Hardly weeks old, the news of its opening by Penang’s Chief Minister YB Lim Guan Eng (caught cuddling Orange the cat on camera) a week before Chinese New Year spread quickly. And curiosity, luckily in this instance, did not kill the many who come to pat-pat, coo and simply enjoy being in the presence of them eight cats currently in residence here.
Here’s how this café works. It’s a two-storey building and the ground floor is a retail store selling, you guessed it, all things cat-related but for humans. So, you’ve got tees, bags, greeting cards, luggage tags, mugs and the like available here.
On the second floor is where the fun begins. However, you’ll be briefed on ‘house rules’ before slipping off your shoes and heading on upstairs. There are around nine to follow (nine lives, get it?) and they’re there to ensure the well-being of the cats. Part of it is, like in a zoo, feeding cats any sort of food is a strict no-no and leaving a sleeping cat be is well advised – seriously, you wouldn’t like it if someone disturbs your nap, right? So, same rule applies.
The upstairs is divided into two. One is a cat zone where you’re free to interact with the cats just don’t carry them around since it may distress them – ask yourself, would you like strangers carrying you around? Surely not. So there. The other zone is the café area that’s (living) cat-free but where cat paraphernalia is aplenty.
Coffees and Ronnefeldt teas, as well cold drinks are on the menu. Their food menu is simple and consists of a small selection of pastries and cakes. It’s pork free here and seating is Japanese style of cross-legged on long cushions laid out on the floor by low tables. We test out their beef pie at RM10.90++ with its flaky, buttery pastry that sinfully compliments the thick beefy-stew filling and the cheese-laden chicken mushroom mini pizza with its sponge-bread crust at RM15.90++, along with mini mushroom quiche at RM12.90++. Their food’s all right, they’re fresh enough and their portions are good for a light meal or midday snack.
Although there are eight cats right now in residence, don’t expect all of them to be on show. The cats are let out to look cute for you in shifts so as not to tire them. There may be three or four at any one time in the cat zone and most of them understand Mandarin. So, catch up on some simple Mandarin phrases if you want them cats to respond to you when you visit!
When you’re there, watch out for Snowy. The all-white female cat with David Bowie-mismatched eyes who’s not only the mascot for the café but also the first one to reside there and the inspiration for the whole place. Our verdict of this place? It's the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
Purrfect Cat Cafe Penang now with discount up to 10% at www.offpeak.my