24 April 2014
We started our day by heading off to the new Purrfect Cat Café on Muntri Street.
This is a cat café modelled after the ones in Japan, where people come in for drinks or food, and there are cats to play with. Of course, there are rules to protect the cats, such as don't feed them, don't pick them up, let a sleeping cat lie, etc. And there's a special "cats only" room where cats can hang out and sleep without human interruption.
Of course, the exterior was decorated with a few black cats. We walked in and the first thing we saw was a huge display of those waving kitties - you know, the battery-operated good luck kitties who smile and wave one paw. The original Hello Kitty. (I tend to wave back at the cats, much to the amusement of shopkeepers who catch me waving.)
After ordering drinks, we left our shoes at the shoe cubby, washed our hands (one of the rules), and headed upstairs to the kitty room. Well, there's an eating room, but since we only had drinks we could have those in the kitty room.
Okay, this was like almost heaven for a kitty lover like me. What made it not heaven was that they have rules about not picking up the cats. I can understand, not every kitty wants to be picked up by every person who comes through every day. And while the cats are rotated through shifts, each cat getting some time off from this job, well, the café doesn't want the cats to get stressed from all the strangers picking them up.
But I'm a cat cuddler. Part of the wonder of kitties is how they snuggle under your chin and purr and you just feel as if you made the world a better place, because this cat is purring so you know he or she is happy.
And this place doesn't let you pick up the cat.
It still was wonderful. The cats were happy to be talked to and petted, and they'd come play with toys we'd swirl around. They all loved chasing micies. (Toy mice on string. Micies.) One cat preferred long distance chases, another waited for the toy to come to her. A third cat wanted a sip of soda or maybe my tea, in a kitty teapot, of course.
All in all, it was great fun. Very silly, but great fun. And we weren't the only people in there - there were quite a few young men and women who came just to play with the cats.
The cats come from the North Shore Animal Shelter in New York and are also available for adoption. I fell in love with Bear, the little grey kitty with semi-Scottish fold ears. Adorable, playful, with huge eyes and a feisty spirit. She preferred to run across the room to attack the mousie. Not that a kitty makes for a good voluntary nomad pet, but she was extra cute and friendly.
So if you're a kitty lover, and find yourself in George Town, Penang, go on over to the Purrfect Cat Café and get your kitty fix. They don't have a website, but here's the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/penangcatcafe
They are located on Muntri Street, also called Muntri Mews.
So of course, after the Cat Café, we went to the Mews Kafé for lunch. Not Mews as in "meow" but mews in the old British sense, a group of buildings comprising a stable, and in modern times often turned into apartments.
The area was still part of historic George Town, with gorgeous old buildings and the occasional temple.
We started walking toward the Penang State Museum, thinking that would be a great activity for a grey afternoon. Well, we kind of stumbled upon a different kind of museum that reached out and sucked us right in, no matter how hard we tried to resist.
Yes, cocoa beans are grown in Malaysia. Chocolate is made in Malaysia. However, from the information in the displays, Ivory Coast grows some 41% of the world's cacao beans. Ghana and Indonesia are tied for second place, each producing roughly 15% of the cocoa grown in the world. And Switzerland eats more chocolate per person than any other country in the world.
The displays also described all the health benefits from chocolate, especially dark chocolate.
The boutique had samples - my favourite was the 70% dark chocolate, which was darker than the zero sugar and also the bittersweet. Mmmmm, dark chocolate.
Richard bought some milk chocolate hearts, because, well, it's chocolate.
So we were happy with our day. Nothing major. Just a day full of kitties and chocolate.
What could be better?