A café with a difference … Cataholic Café is cool for cats – and humans too!by Christopher Scott Dixon
Question: What do you do when you are not allowed to have a pet cat as a child?
Answer: You wait a few years and then open a café where they are more than welcome.
This is exactly what the owner Patcharanun Pokinpatcharawat (Beam) did three years ago when she set up the Cataholic Café and, what was then, the first feline-themed eatery in Bangkok. It requires some of a cat’s famous stealth-like navigation to find the location, as it is right at the end of Sukhumvit 39, close to Petchburi Road and based in the animal-friendly Ozono complex.
Once there however, any anxiety is swiftly removed as you enter a small but perfectly formed single room that is light and airy. The room is home to funky objets d’art that fill the miniature shelves, a long sofa, plump cushions, small and low slung tables and, of course, the cats … and lots of them.
“I got the concept from Japan and, with a friend, we decided to establish a café in Bangkok” explained Beam.
The idea of numerous furry creatures crawling around as you eat may not appeal to all, so hygiene is very important and first-time visitors must bring a vaccination document if they want to bring their moggies. There are also signs on each table instructing patrons how to treat the cats.
Just in case business is slow, Beam has 22 cats of her own, which she brings in on different shifts. As with her pets, customers come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, with a mix of expats and locals. The environment is extremely relaxing; watching the languid grace with which the pampered pusses move around cannot fail to make you smile.
Emphasizing the cleanliness aspect, we used spray soap for our hands before we ate. A pair of eyes, a cat’s, not my wife’s, peered curiously at me as we shared the signature dish which consisted of a gorgeous and generously thick slice of honeyed toast, a nest of whipped cream and topped with vanilla ice cream and more of the golden honey. Several more members of the feline population looked on enviously as we then devoured a chocolate brownie, which came with cute, cat-styled cutlery. An iced green tea with lemon soda to finish was most refreshing.
The Cataholic café is cool for cats and humans too.