Cat Cafe PH : Have a Purrfect Afternoon

Cat Cafe Philippines,
Cebu City
On my trip to Cebu City, Philippines, I was most excited to visit my first cat cafe. As the only cat-person in my family, I wanted very much even for a short time to see cats.

It is a small and intimate cafe found in Guadalupe near Villa Fatima Subdivision and open for 12nn until 10pm. Customers are only allowed to stay for two hours at a time.

When customers enter, they are given not only the selection of sandwiches, coffee and sweets. The menu also included a list of instructions of how to handle their feline friends.

Before meeting them, customers are to read them. They are easy enough to do, such as wash our hands, be mindful of then cats, don't physically hurt them, don't startle the cats and be gentle.



Each table is also provided with a spray bottle of alcohol, which customers are free to take advantage of.

Cheech, which we renamed "Cheech Aaron Bulakalak,"
Because we are such dorks.
Upon entering it with my friends, the first thing that got our attention was a sleeping cat by the window. It was fat and his fur was fluffy and healthy. He reminded me so much of the comic book feline, Garfield. All we need is a plate of lasagna.

We later learned that his name was Cheech,

We were a little surprised at first to see they only had one cat. It turned out that the other cats are at their other shop beside the one we entered. After finishing our drinks, we went to the other shop to meet the other cats. This time, removing our shoes at the entrance.

Cats


Cheech, "The fattest cat in the cafe."
(Photo from: Cat Cafe Facebook) 

Cheech


I want to start with the first cat we encountered, even if he had been sleeping 90% of the time. He was sleeping at the main shop.  Even when tourists and customers flocked around him taking pictures, he didn't flinch and kept sleeping.

When we first found out that his name was Cheech, my companions began giving him names. One that stuck to me the most was, "Cheech Aaron Bulaklak." 

He did open his eyes once in a while though, when we stroke his fur and pet him, but he didn't seem bothered by the attention. Sometimes, when a touch is particularly gentle he would purr and lean against our hand looking pleased.

Chong, "The cutie."
(Photo from: Cat Cafe Facebook) 

Chong


While in the cafe, one of my companions' favorite pastime was observing feline behavior and tried to make up stories and some of those stories are really quite "out there".

One of the most interesting of those stories are that of Chong, the pretty white cat. One interesting thing about Chong was that he is quite a bully and territorial. We immediately designated her as the resident "Mean Girl." We wouldn't at all surprised if on Wednesdays he wore pink.

Chong wouldn't let other cats pass by her without permission. However. Chong is as undeniably beautiful and cute as Regina George had been.

Stimpy, "The Sleepyhead."
(Photo from: Cat Cafe Facebook) 

Stimpy


Not everything pleased me about the cafe though. The first time I saw Stimpy, a couple of girls were using a toy to hit him on the face. I suppose they thought they were playing with him, but Stimpy didn't seem to think of it as such since he immediately ran for cover. Unlike the other cats who could stay out of reach from the other customers, Stimpy is too big and heavy to climb so it is much more difficult for him to avoid unwanted attention.

In our company though, Stimpy was very gentle and was only happy to let us pet him. Next to Cheech, Stimpy had been my favorite. Most people call him a "grumpy cat" but it customers often treated him the way those two did, I do not blame him at all. And because he has a difficult time running away, he looked like he was the most bullied cat in the cafe.

Bubblegum, "The Playful Cat"
(Photo from: Cat Cafe Facebook)

Bubblegum

Out of all the cats in the cafe, Bubblegum had been the most willing to play with us. At first she had been on the top shelves with the other Plastics (aka Chong and Smoke), but when my friend began coaxing her with a toy she went down --- even braving through Chong to pass through,

However, a Plastic will always be a Plastic and can also be seen bullying poor Stimpy away from the food because she wanted to eat. Playing with her is still a joy though. She is a very active cat and it was fun to watch her jump around to catch the toy we were dangling in front of her.


Smoke, "The Alpha She-Cat"
(Photo from: Cat Cafe Facebook)

 Smoke

If I didn't read her profile, I wouldn't have known Smoke was the Alpha. I got that feeling more from Chong than her.

I didn't get to interact with Smoke that much since he was always keeping himself out of reach from the customers. Even from a distance though, you can tell that he is a very beautiful cat.

When my friend tried to coax him down with a toy, he did attempt to go down but Chong had blocked his way and of course the resident Regina wouldn't let her. They were elite after all. In the end, Smoke didn't come down but it was still fun to watch her eye so intently on the toy and looking so tempted to play.

Samurai, "The Friendliest Cat"
(Photo from: Cat Cafe Facebook)

Samurai

The biggest disappointment for me though is the absence of Samurai. We were informed that he had been suspended for scratching one of the patrons. It surprised us because we heard of how friendly he was.

We found it unfair though since it didn't seem to be his fault. The patron had gotten too excited and hugged Samurai too tightly. As punishment, Samurai was separated and kept away for a number of days. Unfortunately, we had left before he was scheduled to return so it was really terrible timing.

The Main Cafe

Interiors


I'll begin with the main cafe. This is where you'll find the kitchen as well.

I do like the rustic touch of the furniture at the main cafe. It was a nice contrast to the white walls and the polished wood. White, wood and shades of green are the theme of the design.

For tables, they had small circular tables that looked like recycled giant spools. The chairs looked like polished crates, and while it probably doesn't sound good, I personally found it quite creative. On the walls, you can find portraits of cats and places for the cats to play on the walls. It would have been fun to watch the cats play there, but the only available cat had been asleep.

The Second Cafe
We went to their second cafe where they kept most of their cats, after we ate. This cafe was different in a way that it was designed so customers can eat with the cats within reach and without the risk of injuring the cats with heavy tables and chairs. Here, they have bean bag chairs, TV-dinner type tables and sofa beds, which was strangely still wrapped in plastic. Did they forget to unwrap it I wonder or maybe to keep it clean in case the cats mistake it for a litterbox?

I noticed a few of the the other customers had computers and books with them. A few were probably using the free wifi so they can study. I found it a little odd though since we were sitting on the floor, so it was a little uncomfortable to study.

Bubblegum playing with us.
I am not too keen on the set up here. It seemed a bit more disorganized than the set up at the main. There is no particular theme in the design here and it looked like the chairs were just for the sake of having chairs at all. Like the main cafe, there are shelves and crates for the cats to play in too.

I do appreciate that they provided slippers for us. Unfortunately with the small space and having so many patrons on the floor, it was difficult to get around.


Drinks


Strawberry Frappe

Strawberry Frappe

While this is the perfect place for cat-lovers, I am not so sure if I can say anything much about their drinks.

While I like the simplicity of their presentation for their strawberry frappe, I feel like the shake is 90% ice and 10% cheap flavoring. It left me rather unsatisfied, considering how much I paid for it. I have tasted shake better for only P5-P10.

Despite being drizzled with chocolate syrup, it didn't save the drink at all. The taste of strawberry is too faint and the ice overwhelms it. I couldn't really tell it was strawberry.

Cappuccino 

Cappuccino 

The cappuccino hadn't been an improvement.

There is nothing much to say about presentation since it is just a regular take-out coffee cup. That is not the a bad thing since it is practical.  What bothered me was the taste. It was a little like instant coffee that you can easily find in the supermarket. I had not been expecting something from more expensive coffee shops, but I had expensive something better than what we got in the end.

Mango-Banana Shake


Mango-Banana Shake
Like the frappe, the problem with the Mango-Banana shake is that there had been more ice than there had been flavor. At the risk of repeating what I have already said about the strawberry frappe, I will stop here.

All in all, maybe we ordered the wrong things and that they have better selections on the menu, otherwise I can only guess people don't visit for the food.

Over-all 


Bubblegum with customer.
There are some room for improvement. Mostly for their drinks. However, it is nice that they kept the price-range for both food and drink is reasonably low so it would also be affordable for students.

I noticed a few things about their cats. Many of their cats are expensive breeds; and all are healthy and beautiful. What I noticed during my visit though is that most of the time the cats had kept to themselves or stayed out of reach. Sometimes, I couldn't even blame them. Some customers had proved to be a little insensitive. Two girls had hit Stimpy "playfully" on the face, another customer pulled on one of the cats's tail, one customer took Bubblegum when a friend of mine coaxed her down to play with us and Samurai was suspended because a customer thought it was alright to hug a cat tightly. If these people had read the instructions, they would know that these are things you shouldn't do to a cat.

As a cat-lover, I was appalled. These are all things the cafe can't help though since they can't always control a customer's actions. After all, the customers are the cafe's lifeblood. I would still return, since their cats are really beautiful and kind when treated well. Hopefully next time I will find something on the menu that I will enjoy.

Links

 Facebook Profile : https://www.facebook.com/Catcafephilippines/


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