… for cat lovers, that is.
So, the Material World team were in Penang, Malaysia, last week for Deborah’s epic wedding. It was six days and nights of (drunken) debauchery – but that’s a story never to be retold. What I can share is about the cafe I dub The Happiest Place in Penang.
A day before the wedding, Vanessa and I were aimlessly walking about Georgetown. I thought I’d seen it all when I was there with my best friend two years ago, but I fell in love with the culturally rich city all over again. Wall art is still wonderfully prevalent around Georgetown, with even more amazing works by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic exhibited at the disused Hin Company Bus Depot. Besides murals, this hidden gem also features artistically arranged old-school street items and discarded toys.
This time around, I also noticed many new “hipster” cafes around the city – and I use the word “hipster” very loosely, because the vibe these cafes give off is hardly pretentious but positively hip. One great cafe is The Twelve Cups along Beach Street. Their signature mille crepe cakes come in an assortment of yummy flavours, and they are served alongside adorable chocolate sauce art.
The next interesting place Vanessa and I stumbled across is a cafe along Muntri Street called Purrfect Cat Cafe (yep, it’s the aforementioned Happiest Place in Penang). Friends know how crazy I am over cats, so you can only imagine my sheer delight when we chanced upon the cafe.
After a moment of squealing and stumbling, we all but sprinted into Purrfect Cat Cafe, eager to play with the kitties. Opened in January this year, the ground floor is a retail store selling all kinds of cat paraphernalia, while the second floor is divided into two sections: a cafe, and the fun zone involving eight cats. I’ve been to a few cat cafes in Asia – Japan, Taiwan and, of course, Singapore – and I must say Purrfect Cat Cafe is my favourite one so far. You don’t have to pay a cover charge; you just have to order a drink and you are free to get cosy with the cats for however long you like!
As with most cat cafes, Purrfect Cat Cafe has certain house rules – no feeding and no carrying – and at least one staff member is always on hand to make sure the humans are obedient. The second Vanessa and I plonked ourselves down on the cushions, a couple of curious cats came towards us. Vanessa was immediately drawn towards the real-life Garfield, while I was particularly taken with this little fella, who kept trying to sniff at my face!
I can’t remember exactly how long we spent at the cat cafe, but it was one of the most relaxing moments of my life. Any worries I had before seemed to dissipate when I stepped into the fun zone; what was left was a state of peace, quiet and unadulterated joy. Vanessa, a dog lover, was also blissed out from the company of cats (“I want to curl up and take an afternoon nap with Garfield,” she sighed in lazy contentment).
If you adore cats or animals in general, be sure to check out Purrfect Cat Cafe at 53 Jalan Muntri, Georgetown, Penang. You’ll leave the cafe feeling incredibly light-hearted, for sure!
About The Author: A founder of Material World, Tan Lili has previously worked in magazines The Singapore Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan Singapore, as well as herworld.com (now herworldplus.com, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction. Follow her on Twitter @TanLiliTweets.
[If you like this story, you will like]