On Wednesday we headed to Utsunomiya to hit up a restaurant I had noticed while driving through a couple of weeks earlier. The sign is a giant picture of a cat’s face and the name is Felis: Cat Cafe and Ristorante. After we drove past I was left wondering: is this a cafe FOR cats, where they can meet their friends for a cocktail after a hard day of laying in a sunny spot on the carpet? Is it a cat-themed restaurant where all the cat trinkets you can think of adorn the walls? Or ::no it couldn’t be could it:: is cat on the menu?
When we got home that night a quick Google search led me to the Felis website and despite the very sketchy aut0-translation I came to understand that this is indeed a ristorante, specializing in Italian and Mediterranean food, and a cat shelter that promotes adoptions and foster homes for wayward cats. WHAT. THE. SHIT. Carbs and rescue animals, two of my favorite things.
While there are a few pics on the website of a cat sitting in the middle of a restaurant, it was all kind of ambiguous and my Americanized sense of health codes assumed that all the pretty kitties would be in some kind of special, cordoned off cat-living-space. Because…they’d have to be…right?
WRONG. Here’s me just after being seated at Felis:
After much discussion, we decided that if we were there to adopt a cat, we would choose the one pictured below for two reasons. 1) He has a mustache. So that’s obviously key. 2) He stealthily stole part of a peanut butter sandwich out of my bag (I’m always prepared for all scenarios) which shows a lot of gumption! We would name him Lanny McDonald.
Admittedly, a dining experience which is shared with animals isn’t for everyone. But we are some of most animal loving people you know who have very little concern for germs and no fear of pet hair. The place, however, was extremely clean and very well kept, naturally with some cat hair sprinkled around but NOT in the food! The service was AMAZING (in part because, BONUS OF THE DAY!, one of the staff is an American who could speak to us in English) and we left the whole experience on cloud nine. I’m happy to say we could open our wallets and loosen our belts all in the name of helping animals find a home.