What's new, pussycat?

Talk-of-the-town cafe celebrates all things feline

If you haven't been living under a rock for the past two months, we're pretty sure you must have come across, or heard about the newest cat cafe in town: Purr Cat Cafe Club. We're sure this concept cafe is nothing obscure to ailurophiles, but for those who exhibit indifference to these curious creatures, a cat cafe is one where the shop's kitties are free to walk wherever they want.

This newest all-round establishment aims to be a one-stop club that offers all services revolving around felines: a cat cafe, a gallery displaying cat-themed artwork, a shop selling hand-made cat accessories and a cat shower station. The second floor will house a cat hotel, where owners can hire cat-sitting either by day or night, that will open within this year. The concept first started in Japan, where most people who didn't have enough space to have pets, nevertheless, could get their I-want-to-interact-with-an-animal fix at these cafes where customers can play with furry friends.

Housed in a cottage-like building, the club is set right into the original dimensions of a house on Sukhumvit Soi 53. There's a small English garden with white cast iron furniture that gives a very Anglo and feminine atmosphere before you even step inside.

The interior itself still feels like an English cottage: the white brick and dark wood walls against dainty armchairs and sofas shout afternoon tea all the way. Innumerable framed cat pictures and photographs tacked on the walls really give a tidy and polished vibe, while even more cat figures and artworks, both vintage and new, decorate every nook and cranny without being too ornate. Two iconic cat heads on the grey brick wall in the first room can also be made to order.

The cafe part is divided into two zones: one room is for people to bring their own cats to play in, while the other room houses 14 of the owner's cats. Customers can choose whether to sprawl on the sofas or by the floor tables, but for all I knew, the cats were scattered all over the place, whether on the cat balconies, inside the wall frames, under tables or down the grand white kitty staircase that twirls into the centre of the room.

The cats are pure-bred and exquisite specimens someone like me from Team Dog would like to observe more, but regardless, most of them just, well, slept and didn't really do much. These mysterious felines are gorgeous Persians, chinchillas, exotics, American shorthairs and whatnot and before I knew it, I caught their sleepy nature after my tummy was filled with treats that, surprise, surprise, were also shaped like cats.

The don't-miss is definitely Purr Cat brownies with ice cream (120 baht). The moist but chewy brownies were exceptional and matched perfectly with the green tea ice cream. They weren't too sweet and of course looked darling too, being shaped like cat heads and all that.

Scones with topping (120 baht) were another charming treat. The savoury cream and strawberry jam were rich with flavour and although the scones were on the tight and heavy side, if you (secretly) despise felines, you have the satisfaction of biting their heads off.

Cookie Cat Dip (85 baht) is a plate of thin, crispy butter and chocolate cat-shaped cookies that come with a chocolate dip. A light and lovely snack fit to nibble on with afternoon tea.

The hot chocolate (100 baht) was served in a tall porcelain cup and was extremely aromatic, with more chocolate than sugar. There was, yet again, the face of a cat on top of the foam and you can stir it away into oblivion should you still secretly hate cats at this point. Or you can order other desserts that aren't shaped like cats; there is also a range of cakes and tarts to choose from.

On top of dessert and drinks, salads are also available. I ordered the tuna salad (165 baht) which was a pleasing staple, nothing extravagant but no hairballs in that pleasant bowl of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, tuna and Japanese soy dressing.

Head to Purr Cat Cafe Club for a lazy afternoon with delectable desserts, but be sure to respect their rules too, for the well-being of both yourself and the cats. Yes, things could get catty should you start forcing the poor kitties to wake up and camera-whore with you against their will.

Owner and actress Petch Aurthaveekul excitedly recounts: "Cats are worth searching out and don't demand attention like dogs. They'll come to you only when they feel like it and sleep up to 18 hours a day."I feel that just by looking at a cat, whether it is sleeping, sitting, climbing or whatever, it's something I always want to capture and take a picture of. It must be a disease! My business partner has this 'disease' too so we're in this little cat world of ours and decided to start this shop together."

About the author

columnist
Writer: Parisa Pichitmarn
Position: Life Writer