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NPR Arts & Life

Sandwich Monday: Meow Parlour

Image has been altered to protect the identities of people who choose to go to a cat cafe.
Image has been altered to protect the identities of people who choose to go to a cat cafe.

This week, my friend Allie and I went to New York City's first cat cafe, . Parlour is spelled the European way, because cat hair in your coffee is very a la mode in Paris.

Cat cafes are a Japanese phenomenon. You pay money to sit in a cafe full of cats and try to pet them as they hide from you, because they are cats. You can order tea, coffee, cookies, macarons or the carcass of a partially decomposed rat. And just like at any New York City Starbucks, there's always the chance someone will hop up on your table and walk across it as you politely drink your catuccino.

If you take a fancy to a particular cat, you can fill out an adoption application. But let's face it, they're not letting someone who pays money to pet cats in public adopt a living creature.

Coffee table available at Restoration Catware
/ NPR
Coffee table available at Restoration Catware

Eva: It's very sleek and white in here, like something Steve Jobs would have created if he'd been a cat lady instead of a computer nerd.

Allie:Is this a long-term Taylor Swift entrapment scheme?

This is the door to the back room where the cats and Taylor Swift live.
/ NPR
This is the door to the back room where the cats and Taylor Swift live.

Eva:Some of these people are clearly just here to use the free cat-fi.

Allie:These cats couldn't be less interested in us. They're very cool cats.

Allie:We signed a waiver the length and complexity of a cable contract that forbids us to offer treats or escape plans to the animals.

Eva:It also forbids us to make any more puns.

Eva tries to order delivery.
/ NPR
Eva tries to order delivery.

Allie:This is just like Starbucks, except I can keep my shoes on at Starbucks.

Eva:There sure is a lot of catnip here ... wait a minute, are we in Catsterdam?

A typical customer at Meow Parlour.
/ NPR
A typical customer at Meow Parlour.

[The verdict: Clean and smell-free. Not for people with allergies. Hard to eat your pastry when there's someone giving himself a bath at your table. Surprisingly fewer cats at Meow Parlour than at Paula Poundstone's house.]

Sandwich Monday is a satirical feature from the humorists at Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!

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