“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats,” theologian and physician Albert Schweitzer once said. Aloof one minute and cuddly the next, cats have long been a source of mystery and fascination for many humans.
The trio behind the Cat Cabin in Jakarta took their shared love for cats to heart when they opened their own little sanctuary in Kemang. Inspired by other cat-themed cafes in Asia, the Cat Cabin opened its doors in February last year and has attracted throngs of feline lovers since.
Rachmah Annurfatmah, the manager of the Cat Cabin, says that the simple yet unique concept of the cafe has proven to be very successful, as the place is usually crowded, especially during the weekend. The Cat Cabin is also a popular spot for couples who are on a date - perhaps thanks to its quirky nature and cozy ambience.
“We want the Cat Cabin to feel like home, where people can relax over a cup of coffee and some food,” Rachmah explains.
The menu features simple dishes, such as nasi goreng, fettuccine, milk shakes and a newly introduced mouthwatering lava cake. Guests can sit at the dining table, on sofas, or on comfortable cushions on the floor and browse through the cat memorabilia such as books and drawings.
But the main attraction are obviously the cats. 14 cats of different breeds call the Cat Cabin their home; some of them have been taken in from animal shelters, while others are the owners’ own pets.
“The cats are neutered so they are less territorial, and cats fight are rare,” Rachmah says. “They actually get along well and play with each other.”
The cats all seem to have their favorite spots and happily laze about: Nona, a local shorthair, likes to lounge on the bench near the window, curling up against a stuffed animal twice her size, enjoying the view while dozing off occasionally. Badtz, the Korean local shorthair, often sojourns in front of the bathroom, eagerly tagging along when guests need to use the restroom, whereas Tomodachi, a fluffy majestic Persian, struts around the cabin as if to keep an eye on his kingdom. Others are rolled up in their baskets for an afternoon nap, play with the many toys scattered around the Cat Cabin or hang out with the visitors.
“The cats are very friendly and playful and are happy to cuddle with our guests,” explains Rachmah who takes care of another dozen cats at home. “But we don’t want them to become stressed out, so we only allow 15 people inside the Cat Cabin at the same time.”
On Mondays, when the Cat Cabin is closed, it is grooming time for the feline creatures: they are bathed and combed and pampered to keep their fur fluffy and shiny. A veterinarian makes sure that they are all happy and healthy.
If you have ever wondered what cat heaven looks like, spend some time at the Cat Cabin - it will have you purring for more.