Cat Heaven: Neko No Niwa
I remember making an international phone call from Perth to Singapore to book for two hours spot at the first cat cafe in Singapore, Neko No Niwa (which means Cat Garden). I only had a day stop over in Singapore and I was so keen to go there. Based on Singapore's standard, the cat cafe charged quite an expensive price but it was quite understandable because they have to take care of the cat's litters, vaccination and the exorbitant rent cost. Sam, the owner of the cat cafe, always welcomed us and took his time to chat with us. On our latest visit to the cat cafe, he also gave us the dry food sample for our ragdoll cat, Melody.
The cafe was very easy to find and it was a 5-10 walk (depending on how fast you walk) from Clarke Quay Central and One Raffles Place. As you walk to the Level 2 of the 54A Boat Quay, you can see cat paintings on the wall. From time to time, Neko No Niwa sold some limited edition items such as paintings of their cat and painted cotton bags. They also have some cute cat collar and I bought one for souvenir purposes. The best time to visit was in the morning before lunch time or late at night before the cafe's closing hour.
Neko No Niwa adopted all the abandoned cats, gave them loving human touch and let them heal get closer to human by putting them together with the customers. There are some rules that they put in place as a safeguard for both the cats and human patrons (e.g. do not disturb them when they sleep). Every customer who booked for a certain time period will be given a rule book to be read and they can also order some food or drinks from the cafe section. Each drink ordered will arrive with a wooden lid to ensure that the dust / fur didn't get in it (or maybe so the cat didn't play around with it).
On three occasions I went there with hubby and on the last visit I took my friend (Nevertity) who was really scared of cats. In two hours time, she managed to pet some and even let one slept on her lap (I think it was Jia Jia)! The whole experience was very relaxing and I will definitely go back for another visit when I travel to Singapore. Until then, Neko No Niwa!