On Market and Gough, sits KitTea, a mix between a cafe and a cat playground. You go in, pet cats, and drink tea, basically the single whitest thing anyone could possibly do. As a dog owner, I would’ve been happy to go my whole life without knowing about cat cafes.
Let me explain how I ended up in this situation in the first place. My friend from summer camp had come to California to visit colleges with her family. Their only available time to meet was a Wednesday evening. They mentioned they were going to a place called KitTea. They gave me an address, so I arranged to get myself into the city that Wednesday evening.
I was able to catch up with my friend and meet her family beforehand. Everything was going smoothly. Then they started talking about KitTea. When they seemed shocked that I’d never been to a cat cafe before; I knew I was in for an unfortunate hour. They then asked whether I was allergic to cats. “Yes, I am deathly allergic,” should have been my response, and I would’ve said my goodbyes and headed back over the bridge. But for some reason I decided to be honest.
The cat cafe looked like someone had taken Mill Valley, squished it into one building, and imported it to San Francisco. The place reeked of yoga, massages, and a disproportionate amount of white people. I was immediately greeted by a smiling lady, who looked like she’d never frowned a day in her life. I proceeded to take off my shoes, sanitize my hands, and settle in for the hour-long reservation. Yes, you heard correctly. One. Full. Hour. After passing the mechanical waving cats we opened dual doors, which we closed quickly so no cats could escape. I couldn’t blame them for trying.
The specially designed room contained tables, benches, several cat playgrounds, and a collection of magazines, which I saw as my saving grace. But no. The magazines were completely feline related, and I wasn’t about to indulge in some old lady’s article about her adventures with Mittens, or a story about a cat that did something other than sit, lie, or hobble, as it always expects to get something as a reward for being boring.
Each minute that passed placed an extra pound of guilt on my conscience. I was thinking of my poor dog back across the Golden Gate. I was betraying him. I was betraying Ricky, the innocent black lab that actually enjoys doing activities like hiking, playing with other dogs, running around, and playing fetch. These cats were only interested in eating and chasing one of overabundant supply of provided toys. Oh, and scratching at my backpack.
Somehow, I survived that hour. The overly happy smiling cat lady came in about 10 minutes before our time was up, and told us all about the yoga lessons starting 30 minutes after closing. Thankfully, that wasn’t part of our itinerary.
I would’ve liked to share some newly acquired knowledge I’ve gained from my Cat Cafe experience, but unfortunately, all I’ve gained from the KitTea excursion was reaffirming my appreciation for the simplicity of the canine lifestyle. ♦