Would you like some kitten with your coffee? Feline company is exactly what one of London's newest cafes is offering—and stressed-out city-dwellers are lapping it up. "People do want to have pets, and in tiny flats, you can't," said cafe owner Lauren Pears, who opened Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium last month in an area east of the city's financial district. "There's not many places in London you can just curl up with a book and chill out with a cat or two on your lap."
Cat cafes first took off 10 years ago in Japanese cities, where many people live alone in cramped high-rise apartment blocks that don't allow pets. The cozy English tea room, named after Alice's cat in Alice in Wonderland, charges customers $8.29 for two hours of kitty company. Coffee and afternoon tea—sandwiches, cakes, and scones—are on the menu at an additional cost. Crazy idea? Lady Dinah's opened March 1, and is fully booked until the end of June. Fear not, American animal-lovers, two cat cafes are due to open in the San Francisco Bay area by the end of 2014.