Cat Cafes Are a Really Stupid Idea

Nothing is less relaxing — and more antithetical to getting anything accomplished — than a cat.

News that a second cat café is opening in Philly has made me goggle anew at human stupidity. For most of my life, I’ve had cats. And anyone who’s ever had cats ought to know: Nothing is less relaxing — and more antithetical to getting anything accomplished — than a cat.

Sitting at the breakfast table with a cup of coffee, reading the newspaper as sunlight pours through the window? Delightful. Now add a cat to the picture, and try to turn the page. Your cat will instantly pounce on your hand, convinced by the rustling that a mouse is lurking between the sports and business sections. Cue newspaper shreds.

Oh, and is there a glass of water on that breakfast table? Enjoy a nice long sip — until you realize that your cat, which has just spent a quarter of an hour elaborately sprucing up its hindquarters, has cleared its palate by sipping delicately from the top of that glass. Yuck.

Substitute a laptop for that newspaper, and try to check your email. Oooh, your cat loves this game — the one where your fingers jump around and it tries to bite them. Or scratch them. Or perhaps you’re composing the great American novel and you’ve paused, thinking hard, trying to choose just the right words for the beautiful sentiment your mind is forming. Here comes the cat, tiptoeing across the keyboard! W>ANIPGHDB”BW Oops, better backspace and erase that. Now, where was I? Oh, damn. Train of thought derailed.

You know what’s been nice about cafes up till now? THERE WEREN’T ANY CATS THERE. You could drink your coffee and check your email and read the newspaper in peace. Look at the photo used to illustrate the first link up above. Look at that! Do you see what that cat is doing? It’s about to pull that tablecover straight off the table, and with it the sunglasses and the vase of flowers and the can of seltzer and the books and the cell phone and everything else. Who needs this aggravation?

And do you know what’s really misguided? These cat cafes are supposed to encourage adoption. You want to encourage people to adopt cats? Show them those cats in an empty room without any window curtains or screen doors or toilet paper or medications or houseplants or babies. Oh, God, especially not babies. Show them cats in a basement. Show them cats in a deserted warehouse. Show them cats in an empty prison cell. DO NOT, however, show them cats in a café filled with vases of flowers and cups of hot latte and expensive iPhones. Sheesh. I’m telling you. Human stupidity.

Follow @SandyHingston on Twitter.