I’ll have a cat and a beer, please

Calico Cat Café in Shinjuku

I have a few days in Tokyo on my way to Cambodia for my book on microfinance, so I went for a wander in throbbing Shinjuku, certain something fun would leap out pretty quick. Sure enough, 5 minutes after I got off the train: this curious sidewalk ad showing a cat and a menu leads up to a two-floor complex called the Calico Cat Cafe.

For a minimum cover of about $7 (rising by the hour), kitteh-deprived apartment dwellers can wash up, change into slippers, flump down with a few of the house's 50 fuzzy felines, and bliss out. I'm allergic and have a bad cold, so I didn't indulge, but the cats seem well tended, and customers must follow strict rules about not disturbing cats who aren't feeling all Cute Overload right that minute. Everybody of all species looked downright giddy.