An Author’s Day Off

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Lilac has beautiful grey and white markings

Lilac has beautiful grey and white markings

Ever wondered what authors do on their days off – mope around missing the work-in-progress, drown writing woes at the pub, play golf? Well, I can’t speak for other scribes but when I down tools, so to speak, I like to do something completely different to refresh the brain.

Yesterday must rank as one of my most enjoyable days off ever! (One of the pluses of having given up the day job is that Kathy and I can take a break mid-week if the spirit moves. Glorious sunny weather yesterday had a lot to do with it, too.)

So what did we decide to do? Go to The Cat Cafe in Totnes, of course…

Glee lives up to her name

Glee lives up to her name

Totnes, a market town at the head of the River Dart, Devon, is not far from where I live. It’s got a colourful history, said to be where Brutus of Troy, the mythical founder of Britain, first came ashore on the island. When he stepped from his ship he declaimed, ‘Here I stand and here I rest. And this town shall be called Totnes.’ (!!)
But I digress. The Cat Cafe in Totnes was opened earlier this year, the first of its kind in the UK. (Taiwan and Tokyo started the ball rolling a few years back.)

Kathy and I spent much of the morning there in the company of six delightful rescue felines – Rolo, Lilac, Glee, Jet, Felix and Mango. Each has a very different personality (as all cats do!). All the cats belong to cafe founder Liz Dyas and live in their own bespoke accommodation attached to her house, complete with outdoor aerial walkways.

Totnes Cats Cafe

Totnes Cats Cafe

As well as bringing joy into people’s lives cats are known to be therapeutic, and the cafe welcomes visitors from the Stroke Association, the Deaf Society and other groups. It can accommodate wheelchairs, and apparently the cats are particularly fascinated with them!

I’ve heard there’s been some criticism of the cat cafe from animal welfare groups but I have to say that all I saw yesterday was very contented and unstressed cats – and very smiley visitors.

Totnes Cats Cafe is open from 10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday, 51C Fore Street, Totnes TQ9 5NJ. There is no entrance charge; sale of refreshments and souvenirs funds the non-profit operation. (There is a no children policy.)

3 Comments on “An Author’s Day Off”

  1. What a brilliant idea! I am going to see if there are any around the DC area. We love our black and white kitty, although she is on her last paw, so to speak. We are thinking of a pair of Devon Rex kitties when the time is right.

  2. Sorry to all Moggy lovers. I won’t be visiting any such venue, I’m allergic. Big cats would be OK and any other animal. It must be good for people that aren’t permitted to keep pets. Anyone know of a Canine Cafe?

  3. Wonderful Julian and Kathy. We simply love cats ourselves and currently have 2 rescued kittens (found in a drain pipe). Brother and sister “Miya” and “Button”. They are 2 marvellous friends and have brought so much love with them.

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