Spend a Date with a Dozen Kitties at Cat Café Manila (and Get to Bring One Home, too!)May 7, 2015
On lonely days, it is not surprising to find me looking up pictures of cats. On even lonelier days, it is not surprising to find me looking up pictures of cupcakes and cookies. And perhaps on an especially lonely day, I would not be surprised to find myself seeking a place where I can peacefully eat a cookie, while in the company of a dozen cats. Now don’t you direct me to the nearest bench, where I usually encounter strays that slink about the premises, staring upwards at whatever pastry I was having that day, hoping that perhaps they could partake in my meal. I’m talking now about Cat Café Manila, one of the first cafes of its kind to open on Philippine shores nearly two decades after animal-themed cafes started up in other parts of Asia.
When Anna Calvo adopted her first cat two years ago, she probably didn’t expect her newfound love for her new pet to snowball into something as big as a food establishment. This year, she opened Cat Café Manila in Maginhawa with co-founder Denis Ty, where she now becomes mother to a dozen cats.
While most animal-themed cafes get their supply of cats or dogs from the establishment’s owners, Cat Café Manila has partnered up with CARA Welfare Philippines (Compassion and Responsibility for Animals) for their supply of felines. All once strays, the cats here have been cared for and have been successfully domesticated, showcasing their advocacy for animal welfare and responsibility. It was a pleasure to learn that all the cats here are up for adoption. For a place so focused on caring for cats, it’s even more marvelous to see the same amount of dedication being given to the food.
The cafe’s fare seems just as cuddly as the animals, with menu items with names like “Meowcha Cupcake”, “Clawcolate Mint Ice Blend”, and “Pawreo Cheese Shake”. The most enamoring pastry around here, though, would have to be their large, luscious cookies, most especially the Peppermint (loaded with nuggets of mint chocolate) and the Black Sesame (nutty, slightly bitter sesame seeds are sprinkled over the surface of the cookie). The coffee and ice blends here are also great, but it is the elusive Italian sodas that make this café so recommended for the summertime. The Lemon, Ginger, Honey Italian Soda goes down like the carbonated equivalent of a spa treatment, while the bold, bright-green Kiwi Italian Soda tastes almost like candy.
So instead of looking up pictures of cats or cookies, perhaps you should head on over to Cat Café Manila to experience the real thing. Who knows, maybe you could walk away not only with a full stomach, but also with a furry companion to call your own.