October 30, 2014

Review: Caturday Cat Cafe (Bangkok)

I have a dog at home. He's a miniature schnauzer I adopted 11 years ago, and Peter is the best thing that ever happened to me. He's the sweetest, most unassuming little guy anyone has ever met - and he also loves playing tag with the stray cats under our block. 

Cats are a big part of my life. I don't own any, but I have always had an affinity with them. They can be off-standish and unpredictable, but they are sweet and loving animals when treated right. 

So when I was in Bangkok, I made a trip to Caturday Cat Cafe

Caturday Cat Cafe is easy to find - just take a BTS to Ratchathewi station, and take exit 2. You will walk down a flight of stairs and locate Cocowalk Avenue - a strip of bars and pubs guarded by a lone security guard.

Keep walking down, and you will see the above signage. Hopefully some cats will lead you there, there are a few street cats around who are regularly fed and they hang around Caturday.

If you are clever (like me), you will go early and close to opening time so you can snag a seat and have some fun with the cats. They are all quite excitable during the first few hours of opening - peering out the windows as the staff get ready, chasing each other around and hiding under cushions before the staff lay them out.

As the owner opens up and shows you to your seat, you will be expected to take off your shoes and wash your hands at the safety entrance. The entrance is laid with a plush faux grass, and around the shoe shelves will be a big noticeboard filled with depictions of the café's cats and kittens, photos of customers with the cats, and even souvenirs left behind by some customers. 

Make your way into the cool comfort of Caturday, and try not to squeal in excitement as the cats give you a sniff and run around your feet. 

Caturday always strikes me as one of the better cat cafès around due to their attention to detail and merchandising. 

You will see what I mean as we go along, but the most striking of these details is the very decorations used in the small space they have. Beautiful portraits on the long wall of the cats, resembling oil paintings of regal past. A beautiful mural hand-drawn on the large windows of the café, as sunshine streams through the wood pallet floors and floor cushions with the Caturday logos embossed on them. 

As you browse the menu, you will see the various cats who reside here, and their names. (Note: Not all of the cats are depicted, the owner is always adding new kittens to the brood.) (Further note: Not all the cats respond to their names, so don't bother.) 

Basic rules, don't bother the cats. Have fun but know that cats are unpredictable and don't like having their space invaded. Use common sense when near the cats, as depicted on the menu. 

There are cats of all sorts here, munchkins, Scottish-Folds, British Short-Hair, Persians, Maine Coons, Tabby Cats, Siamese, Ragdolls - all lovely, clean and healthy kitties.

Also, if you must know one cat in the establishment, it is the head honcho. He is The Cat here. He is the Alpha and the First, and the boss of the boss. 

His name is Katchup, and he will sleep through it all. He has fathered a few of the cats who now live in Caturday, and he is the sleepiest and most unimpressed of them all. As we go along I will try to remember as many names as possible, both to impress you and to test my own memory, but just marvel at the lovely, lovely cats here and the beautiful environment they are in. 

This is Papoy, whom I hear is the son of Katchup. 

The cats have free reign, and some of the older cats will occasionally appear in the fake television screens behind the wall to take a break from grabby hands and the excited noise. There's food and water available all the time for the cats and plenty of crawlspace above and around the café with plenty of cat posts, high beams and climbing poles for play. 

This sweet little girl is Hedwig, and I think you should be able to tell why. 

Occasionally, if you have your bag open, you will find a curious little guy exploring the depths. One of them, is Jabba. He also happens to have a pair of smudges on his back which sort of resemble little wings - which is kinda cute, I have to admit. 

Also, the staff were quick to remind me that Jabba is most likely to try and sneak nibbles or drinks off your table. He's a sneaky guy who is also very greedy. He's really adorable so I guess he gets away with it a lot. 

Speaking of food, ours arrived. Caturday has some pretty standard food, and some really cute looking desserts. 

If you are looking for hardcore grub, it's probably not the right place, but they do have stuff like pasta and fries, and even soup. Portion wise it isn't a whole lot, but if you're here to take in the atmosphere while having some light snacks and desserts, you'll be taken care of. 

Also they do amazing iced coffees. I had an iced caramel machiatto here and it was amazeballs. We also ordered up some cheese fries, and a plate of red velvet cake since it just looked plain delicious (and flipping adorable). 

By now, you should have noted that Caturday is really into their merchandise. Everything you use here will have the Caturday logo on it - they try their best to put it on absolutely everything, even in the handsoap in the really cute bathroom. 

Coasters, glasses, teapots, cushions, table settings and numbers, even their cakes, they are all designed perfectly to suit the theme and to remind you where you are. I was very impressed with their attention to making everything as immaculate as possible for a cat café.

Back to the cats! This was my sister's favorite - a precious, huge bundle called 18. She was spread over a pile of cushions, and had to lifted with the cushion should someone need a seat on the floor. She was not bothered at all by the cooing and giggling around her as she snoozed on. 

This maine coon was the tallest of them all, and the name is Bozo, if I remember correctly. A strong and silent type, who enjoys playing with the cat toys - at the right time, of course. There is a time for play and a time for quiet contemplation. 

This adorable, adorable white munchkin was the first ever cat to approach me when I first came to Caturday earlier in April this year. She was sweet then, and she is even sweeter than ever now. 

Her name is Yuki (meaning Snow in Japanese), with a pair of lovely eyes and an even lovelier disposition. 

I must clarify, that my purpose of visiting Caturday was two-fold. One was to spend some time with the many cats here while grabbing some snacks and coffee, and the other was buy some merchandise for me and my friends back on home ground. 

I mentioned that Caturday was big on merchandising, and I was not lying. Anything you fancy, silk scarves, wall clocks, cups, mugs, coasters, drink tumblers, bags, keychains big and small, pet supplements, pet shampoo and handphone cases - a latest addition. 

Some may even be out of stock, so purchasing these items depends on both luck and timing. As far as I can tell, Caturday will keep churning out new products and they will just get more and more adorable. 

You can even buy some treats for the cats or your own pets back home. 

As always, cats will be up to something - as I purchased some merchandise Hedwig decided she would investigate my bag to ensure I didn't steal anything from the shop.

I think she was satisfied that I was a good customer, so she took a seat for photos and chin scratches. Yuki then came along to really double check, and they both started to make a game of the plastic bag and my hand. 

It was all quite funny, and the owners just laughed and shook their heads at the antics of these two little things.

Yuki also decided to try to check my bag as well, and found my very interesting keychain, which entertained her further. 

I am very much in love with this place. The owners were always on hand to ensure you were comfortable and the cats were comfortable, staff are attentive and friendly - the area is always kept pristine, and the furniture and decoration are just a sight. 

It's a wonder anyone ever manages to leave such a therapeutic space, as cats and kittens snooze next to you, some playing around the floor to the delight of the customers, I wish I brought my sketching pad to draw some of the beautiful cats purring next to me. 

If you ever have a chance to, try to make some time to visit Caturday. If you are a cat-lover, you cannot miss this space - it is just that amazing to be here. 

Who knows, you may even be lucky enough to see Katchup awake. If not, he's always available for a cuddle. 

Caturday Cat Cafe can be located at: 
4.5 Cocowalk Avenue 
Bangkok, Thailand 10400 

+66 2 656 5247

Nearest BTS station: Ratchathewi, Exit 2

Closed on Mondays
12PM-9PM, Tuesdays to Fridays
11AM-9PM, Saturdays to Sundays

*Again, all the photos were taken by my adorable little sister, and she can still be reached at yeowenna@gmail.com 

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