My first full weekend off since coming to Auckland, I was determined to make sure I actually did something.
As I mentioned before, it’s hard finding cheap, or free things to do in Auckland and in lieu of a pop up food market or event, I decided to finally head in to the city and try out Barista Cats.
these places are way more acceptable when you’re not a mid-twenties single, pining for affection from anywhere.
Originally gaining popularity in Japan, cat cafes are popping up everywhere and Barista Cats is proud to boast its Auckland’s first.
Most of the cats here are rescue cats; strays or otherwise abandoned kitty’s have found a new home in the cafe.
For the most part they’re all incredibly chilled out, lazing the day away.
Fussed over and clearly well loved, these cats are living a life in stark comparison to where they started.
Although when there’s food around some of those scavenger instincts are too hard to ignore.
I was optimistic however that a morning playing with purrbaby’s would be the purrfect way to start my weekend and happily headed in to the city to start my caturday.
Tucked away off Queen Street, I eventually found Barista Cats and headed up the stairs, sanitised my hands and waited for someone to buzz me through.
As I waited in the ‘holding pen’ I prayed I’d be able to get in, not having realised it was recommended to make a booking before turning up.
I was greeted by the owner, paid my entrance fee and ordered my mocha ($15, slightly hefty, but the proceeds go to supporting the cats and you do get the drink included).
I flopped myself down on the sofa in the corner and waited for one of my new best friends to hop in to my lap and start purring.
I was told all the cats had their own personality, but before Smudge I wasn’t really a cat person.
All I could see here was pussy mad people, cooing and baby talking to the cats, chasing them around, arms outstretched, willing them to love them, while the cats looked on in disdain, or in the case of some of them batted the would be affection away with a claw and a warning hiss.
These people were mindless walking around the space, phones out, pulling and manipulating the cats into insta worthy positions.
One man in particular came right in to my personal space, oblivious to his proximity to me just to bury his face in the soft white fur of Tom, the newest addition to Barista Cats, a 10 week old rescue kitten.
A mother and daughter duo had ordered muffins with their drinks, and as they tucked in to their food they attracted quite the audience.
I sat and watched as they baited the cats with the people food they weren’t allowed and then giggled loudly as the cats tried to nibble crumbs.
Something just wasn’t sitting right for me, and as I sipped my mocha and looked into my pussy-less lap, I was overwhelmed by feelings of grief and sadness and a longing for home.
I missed Smudge.
i just want to sit quietly and stroke the cats, can you please put them down and walk away.
Whether or not sensing I needed a distraction, or tempted by the smell of my mocha, Orson, a fat white cat sat up from his perch and stretched.
Jumping down the tower, he came over to the chairs next to me and within minutes was snatched up by an exiting couple who wanted one final face full of fur before they left.
Unceremoniously plonked back down, he came over and spread himself out on the floor in front of me, tail causally flicking my feet as he waved it around.
With the room empty of kittyfiles, I took my cue to play with the cats in my own way.
I went over to Brian, the blind cat and put my hand on his front paws and stroked his head as he tried to get a good sniff of me.
I fussed over Mango a bit more and then ‘the cat with the bandanna’ got my attention and I was busy trying to get a snap of their beautiful fur.
As I was leaving, Orson was having a barney with ‘the cat with the bandanna’ and was being loudly and unnecessarily chastised by an overly enthusiastic teenage Potter-head in Docs.
I scooped him up away from her scolding taps and surprised by the weight of him, struggled to find a comfortable position in my arms, without my boobs getting in the way. I let him go, putting him back on the lower perch of his tower and left him gazing out of the window at the street below.
All in all, I’m glad I went.
It was a nice way to spend the morning, the staff are lovely, and clearly very passionate about the cafe and the coffee was decent enough.
There wasn’t anything nibbly I wanted to try, and as they’re limited to food ordered in (not allowed to make anything on site because of the animals), it’s a case of first come first served.
As it turns out, I’m not a cat person, but there are some cats that I like.
I don’t know if I’d be back in a hurry, and I definitely can’t take Zac – I daresay he’s getting sniffly just looking at the pictures of the cats, good old allergies.
I’m holding out hope now for a puppy cafe.
Can you imagine?