I could hear a faint sound of a kitty’s purring coming from across the room.
So I closed the glass door behind me and walked further into the colourful and cosy-looking cats’ room, complete with sofa seats at the far end.
Almost immediately, I was totally and completely spellbound… by a creamy white cat with dark brown blotches on its fur. It was sleeping right in front of me on his favourite wooden chair, with a Santa Claus hat perched on its head. It was only June, so Christmas must be coming early for this kitty.
It probably wasn’t the one making the purring noises, but I was nevertheless completely bewitched by this adorable, sleeping kitty and immediately reached out gingerly to stroke the cute creature. After all, I didn’t want to wake it up from its deep slumber.
It was so contented that it didn’t even squirm when I touched it gently. And its fur felt so soft and warm that I was totally captivated by this cutie.
This sweet little kitty was definitely the cutest feline that I had ever seen.
A heaven for kitty lovers in Penang
Welcome to the Purrfect Cat Café. This little eatery, stocked with real-live cats for kitty lovers like me to play with – is Penang’s very own cat café.
The place had opened in January this year and the inspiration for this novel idea of having cats for customers to play with, had initially come from the many cat cafes springing up in Japan.
“And about 80 per cent of us (the café workers) love cats too,” added 21-year old Shaun Lee, a barista and who was in charge that day, at Penang’s Purrfect Cat Café.
Cat Themed Merchandise
When you first enter the café, you will be greeted by cat-themed merchandise. These range from smaller items such as mobile phone cases and bags, to adorable looking cushions and plush toys.
As a cat lover, I must say that I was immediately tempted to buy something. Everything looked so cute – and would definitely be good souvenirs of my visit to this unique café! But in the end, I controlled my urges.
The real fun starts at the top of the stairs
The real fun starts after you place your food and drinks order at the counter and then climb up the stairs, of this 100-year-old two-storey shop-house.
For, at the top, lies kitty haven.
The dining area is divided into two sections. One section is the cat’s room and the other is the eating section, where you have the food and drinks that you have ordered. These two areas are separated by a glass door, which must be kept closed at all times.
The dining area is separated from the cats’ room, so that fur will not get into your food and drinks.
Food items available include savoury pies and pastries to sweet cheesecakes and crepes. Prices range from RM6.90 to 11.90 each. Beverages range from champagne and coffee-based drinks to fruit juices and the prices are between RM7.90 to 12.90 per drink.
Not allowed to bring food into the cat’s room
As a general café rule, you aren’t allowed to bring food into the cat’s room, as the cats may try to eat it – and could get sick.
“But drinks can go into the cat’s room. Be careful though, because the cats may jump on it,” added Shaun.
So when I found out about this rule, I made sure I finished my marble cheesecake and iced chocolate as fast as possible, so that I could spend more time enjoying the company of these adorable cats. After all, this was the main reason why I had paid the café a visit.
Cats were sleeping
Unfortunately, while some of the cats were sleeping during my visit to the café in the late afternoon, I still had a field day stroking them and posing for pictures with the cuties.
“They sleep during the daytime. They are mostly active in the evenings, at around 6pm to 7pm,” Shaun explained.
And boy, can some of these cats really sleep. They were in a deep slumber, almost everywhere and anywhere – on top of a table, on a chair, on the floor or even inside a cardboard box! For their antics, they should definitely win an Olympic gold medal for the activity of sleeping.
Managed to catch a couple of the cats waking up
Fortunately for me though, a couple of the sleeping cats woke up when I was on the verge of leaving. I was just in time to see a black coloured cat drowsily opening its eyes and preening itself. And I must add that it was quite an eye-opener to witness the adorable kitty having its afternoon bath and cleaning itself up so thoroughly.
As for the other cat, a white coloured one, I managed to catch sight of it pacing around the floor for a few moments – before promptly dozing off yet again!
No Toilet Training
I found out from Shaun too, that these cats don’t get formal toilet training lessons. “But they have a place where we teach them to visit when they have to go to the toilet, and that’s it,” Shaun added.
Yet, in the time that I spent in the cats’ room, there were no accidents at all. I thought this was quite amazing – cats are such smart creatures!
Seven cats altogether
There are seven cats altogether at the café, and they take turns to do their shifts with the café’s customers. Four are males, while the other three are females. Breeds include a Bengal, a Persian kitty and a Scottish Fold one (the Christmas kitty).
When I was there though, I could only count six cats, plus one furry orange cat ornament! Perhaps this was installed to “replace” the “missing” cat? According to Shaun, one of the females had just given birth to four kittens, so she was still recovering and couldn’t play with customers right now.
“But maybe the kittens will join the rest of the cats when they are of age though,” Shaun added.
And if this really does happen, then I would definitely be more than eager to catch a glimpse of the adorable kittens, drinking milk and frolicking around with their mother, at the Purrfect Cat Café.
At the end of my visit, I was completely full of wonder and amazement at the number of hours that these cats are able to sleep for! They looked so contented and peaceful – without a care in the world.
Purrfect Cat Café
53, Jalan Muntri,
George Town, Penang, Malaysia
+604 261 1197
Opens Daily, 10am-10pm