Cat cafes are big business in Japan and have been for a while. I've always been rather curious about the concept and when the first cat café opened in London last year I was tempted to make the trip down just to see what it was all about. Unfortunately I never made it to the capital so I was really thrilled when I discovered that Newcastle was going to be getting its very own cat café.
The closest I've been to a cat café is when our rather greedy ginger cat Martin used to eagerly join us for Sunday lunch every week. Despite throwing him out of the kitchen numerous times he'd always find a way to sneak back in and would suddenly appear on the chair next to my partially sited Grandma and then stick his nose into her gravy.
We lost Martin a few years ago, and I still miss him. We talk about him all the time and I think every single one of us would agree he was the very best member of our family. Something tells me Martin, who was always thinking with his tummy, would have loved the idea of a cat café!
Mog on the Tyne opened a few weeks ago and has literally been the talk of the Toon, it seems Newcastle is full of cat lovers desperate to get themselves into the café and I was no different. As soon as booking was open I made sure to reserve a table and it's a good job I was fast as the café has been booking fast.
I love cats! I'm the person who will slam to a halt mid conversation just because I've spotted a cat I want to say hello to. It's been many years since I had a cat and I have to say I really miss having a ball of fur in my life, so I really couldn't wait to make myself some new friends!
Booking is essential at Mog on the Tyne, we were greeted at the door and gave our name to allow us access through the locked gate and into the café. Having removed our shoes and sanitised our hands we were welcomed into an absolute heaven for cat lovers.
The space is gorgeous with lots of comfy corners for eating cake and brightly coloured art on the walls. Of course, what we were most interested in was the 10 bundles of fur strolling around the café. It was probably the first time I've ever been into a café where the cake wasn't my main focus!
We were handed a menu and given a list of rules to look through. Obviously the welfare of the cats is very important to the café so you are asked not to pick them up or disturb them while they are sleeping. Any cat fan knows that cats are cool because they like to do their own thing - whilst they love fuss and attention they also like to be left alone when they've had enough, so we were happy to see there were some rules in place.
All of the cats in the café are rescue cats from Westgate Ark. We've always owned rescue cats and have always found them to be so loving and full of character so it's lovely to see that these guys have found such a fabulous new home.
Now, I don't like to play favourites but a few of the cats at Mog on the Tyne definitely found their way into our hearts. I adored Stan, the eldest of the cafe's cats. Around the walls are dotted signs about not feeding the cats with Stan being particularly mentioned! I soon realised why when I accidentally dropped some cake on the floor and Stan was on it like a shot! He seemed to spend most of his time prowling round the café sitting under tables waiting for some food to hoover up.
We also loved Sir Francis whose white markings around his mouth give him a rather distinguished looking moustache! So adorable!
The café is full of cat toys and tunnels and you are given an hour to crawl about on the floor as much as you like playing with the cats.
As much as I could sit here and talk about the cats for hours I should probably also mention the cake, which is freshly made for Mog on the Tyne by the talented ladies at Pet Lamb Patisserie in Grainger Market. Simon went for an old favourite, Raspberry and Nutella Brownie and I had a huge slab of chocolate cake. Absolutely delicious and definitely one of Stan's favourites.
Mog on the Tyne is definitely worth a visit if you love cats, it's the perfect place to head if, like me, you miss having a feline friend in your life. One thing I will say though is the café gets busy ... so it's probably a good idea you like humans as much as you like cats!
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