This past month, my daughter, whose brain is usually taken over by cats and DIYs, has had exams. Her daily fix of Cole and Marmalade was replaced by triangles, polynomials and acceleration-due-to-gravity.
All that hard work, of course, deserves a reward. A purring, furry, cuddly reward to be precise.
For people like me, who aren’t ready to commit to owning a cat just yet, Ailuromania Cat Café is a good alternative.
Ailuromania Cat Café is in Jumeirah, not far from Burj Al Arab. Get off at Dubai Internet City Station if you’re travelling by metro and take RTA Bus 88 till you reach the Wild Wadi Stop. As you catwalk into the café, you’ll see some furry models strutting about.
Even though I’d looked at the café’s website I couldn’t tell most of the cats and breeds apart. There were regular shorthaired domestic cats as well as Siamese, Persian and other breeds. Or to put it more simply, kitties of the fluffy, fluffier and fluffiest variety.
The café has a cat room and a non cat room, and charges AED 50 per person. Small kids (those at cat height, I presume) get in free. You can order food worth that amount once you’ve paid up. The fare is standard café stuff – croissants, sandwiches, brownies, macarons and so on. The real treat of course is having your fill of cat company. An LCD screen helpfully identifies the different cats, and states whether they like to be petted or played with.
Inside the cat room, we picked a table that looked like it would be frequented by the residents. Mylo, a large Persian, had already claimed the comfiest chair by it and barely moved the entire time we were there, oblivious to all the stroking, ear scratching and even toy waving he was subjected to. Other cats lounged on sofas, daybeds, table tops, wall shelves…every conceivable nook.
If you aren’t deeply fond of cats, you may be put off by having them in close proximity to your food. Rest assured they are well behaved and do not attempt to snack from your plate.
The café is quite packed, so call ahead or book using their website. Ailuromania, for all of us non-latin speakers, means ‘Love of cats’ in said language. You can read more about the café here in a nice article in The National. And here’s another one from What’s on Dubai. And here’s a cute cat video while we are at it.