Visiting a Cat café in Nice, France
You can skip the intro about my cats and go straight to the second paragraph about the cat café
I have always wanted to have a pet. Preferably a dog. I’ve had budgies when I was a kid but you can’t really cuddle with a bird, can you? But then when I was 15 my parents finally conceded to my plea for a pet and we got a cat. He was just a kitten when we got him from my mum’s friend and he was a mix breed between a Siamese (or a Birman?) and some unknown ordinary cat breed. I named him after a dog from the Famous Five books by Enid Blyton: Timmy. He had the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen and he’d been my best companion for 11 years until he sadly passed away. I thought I’d never get another cat in my life.
However, when I moved in with my future husband I managed to convince him to get a cat even though he was a self-proclaimed dog-person (having never owned any pet but a hedgehog previously). We adopted our cat Munchkin (my husband named him after a board game) from an animal organization and he’s been bringing us joy and happiness (and occasional dead bird and lizards) ever since we got him as a 2.5 month old ginger-white kitten.
I’m a crazy cat lady and naturally when I recently read about a cat café in Nice I knew I just had to visit it on my next business trip to Nice. Last Friday I had some free time after my work obligations and I went to look for the cat café–La Ronronnerie. It’s not situated in the usual tourist part of Nice but it’s not difficult to find it. It’s in the street Rue Lepante 4. And you can easily reach it from the high street Avenue Jean Medecin. It’s not far away. There’s a school near the cat café actually. I looked at the café from across the street and then walked over and entered. However, the waiter told me they were full and that I might want to come back in 20 minutes or so when he expects to have some free seats. Of course, I wanted to see the cats so I walked around for a bit and then decided to have lunch somewhere near and to return afterwards to the cat café. I had a lovely lunch and returned to the cat café La Ronronnerie after 2 pm and this time I was lucky:there was place for me.
First impressions: There was a big sign in French with rules at the entrance. The café looked comfortable and simple and there were different cat toys and cat paths on the walls. I saw one black cat sitting lazily in an armchair and another one snuggled in a cat basket next to a bunch of people. Everyone was talking and enjoying their drinks/meals seemingly unfazed by the presence of the cats.
I sat down and looked around to find the other cats. In the meantime a waiter approached me with the menu and I ordered a speculoos cheesecake. There were hand sanitizers at every table and I first thought that they were there to clean your hands after you’ve stroked the cats. But no, no! You have to use the hand sanitizers before you can touch the cats. You can’t move them from the chairs or wake them up or pick them up or feed them or really even touch them if they don’t first approach you. All of these and more was written on the menu and on the backside there were photos of 5 cats who live in this cat café.
They are not stray cats like in some other cat cafes. They’ve got purebreds in La Ronronnerie. I was a bit annoyed with all of those rules and I felt shy so I just surreptitiously took a couple of photos of the cats. I had imagined I’d play and cuddle with the cats, but it didn’t happen. Everyone else seemed blissfully ignorant of the cats apart from two ladies sitting close to me who also occasionally took some photos of the cats. Only when I was ready to leave did I dare to stroke two cats.
So what cats are in this cat café in Nice? An elegant black cat was sitting in an armchair next to my table and then I saw another one approaching the big window next to my place. It was a Sphynx cat. I’ve never seen a cat without hair in real life. I found its look a bit disconcerting; poor cat without the glossy coat to keep it warm in the winter. Then I saw two other cats in another corner of the café:one big cat with gorgeous long hair and another one which looked like some wild cat. I’ve never seen such a cat breed, it had spots like some leopard or some other Big Cat. There was also a cat that looked a bit disheveled.
They were all utterly adorable. When I paid the bill, I told the waiter how calm the cats were and that they are really gorgeous. When I was leaving I spotted the cat photos with their names at the entrance (how did I miss it upon entering?). So the cats are: Atys the Oriental, Edguard the Spynx, Léon the American Curl, Evoli the Selkirk Rex and Jaya the Bengal.
Final impressions: The speculoos cheesecake (4.50 euros) was delicious and the cats are utterly gorgeous. They were mostly sleeping but it was a sunny afternoon and it was just the right time for a cat nap. Maybe If I had come later I would have seen them in their more active mode (the café is only open from 11.30 till 6 pm). I expected to be able to cuddle the cats but when I saw all the rules I didn’t really dare apart from a few quick strokes on my way out. All in all, I spent an enjoyable half an hour with the cats but I guess I would have felt more at ease if I was with a friend because then I wouldn’t feel so odd for taking photos and for wanting to cuddle the cats.
Have you ever been to a cat café? Check out my category Cats for more cats’ posts!:)
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