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Vancouver is Getting a Cat Cafe Inspired By ‘Totoro’

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    A cafe inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s classic anime film “My Neighbor Totoro” is set to enchant customers in Vancouver, Canada.

    Called the “Catoro Cafe,” the Totoro-themed cat cafe will reportedly be similar to the “Temari No Ouchi Cat Cafe” in Japan when it opens sometime this spring.


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    Heated floors. Thirty kitties. Parfaits served by sixteen year old maids. Yep, must be in a Cat Cafe.

    A post shared by pikachuu (@bonafide_adult) on

    According to Nathan Chan, one of the four owners of the cafe, the Catoro Cafe will open at 666 East Broadway, the former location of Mensch Jewish Delicatessen.

    Imagination Corporation, a company that specializes in the design and construction of custom environments, was in charge of decorating and creating a magical atmosphere for the cafe.

    Chan told the Daily Hive last year that the establishment will have a cafe, a lounge side as well as a cat cuddling side.

    “Their work looks like it’s out of a storybook, like things you’d see in The Hobbit. Think castles and pirate ships,” Chan was quoted as saying.

    Entering the cafe, Chan claims, would be like stepping into the world dreamed up by Miyazaki himself in the movie masterpiece.


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    Our goal with Catoro Cafe is to not only help rescue cats to find homes, but to also connect with our guests on an emotional level by making spending time with animals an easy and accessible thing to do within modern urban living. Companion animals play major roles in the lives of many children. In the 2008 book The Powerful Bond Between People and Pets, psychologist Elizabeth Anderson wrote, “Nothing less than alchemy is involved when animals and children get together, and the resulting magic has healing properties that work well.” It has been shown from 22 studies that there are links between pets and the psychological well-being of children. Many of these studies concluded that growing up around pets is linked to having higher self-esteem, cognitive development and social skills. While we hope Catoro will serve as an neighbourhood institution for children who may not be able to own pets for various reasons, we even more so hope to bring in many adults who may have lost the child-like wonder and amazement for being close to animals. Aside from owning a pet yourself, it is rarely an easy and accessible activity to visit a zoo or a petting farm in our day to day lives. We wish to bring this important, stress-relieving activity closer than ever so that people can incorporate visiting us in their everyday lives. The brand we have created with Catoro tells a story of a forest guardian and its companion that are on a mission to rescue the helpless and homeless cats lost within a mysterious forest. We hope that the story we tell will connect with children and put a more welcoming and approachable narrative around the importance of rescuing animals and adoption. We believe that small businesses like Catoro are an integral part of any community. Innovation, integrity and social responsibility should always be at the forefront of any business rather than profits.

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    Catoro partnered with the Cat Therapy & Rescue Society, which will provide adoption cats to the cafe where customers will have the option to play with and even possibly take home an animal.


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    “A lot of the cat cafes in Asia at more geared toward spending time with cats, no social cause,” says Chan.

    The cafe intends to highlight the cat overpopulation problem in the region and connect as many cats with potential owners as possible.

    “There is a national crisis of feline overpopulation across Canada. It was estimated in 2012 that there is one cat to every three humans in Canada. In addition, there are at least 600,000 stray cats roaming the streets. The problem with most cat shelters is that they don’t have enough exposure and they aren’t perceived to be particularly attractive in the public eye,” says Chan.

    “We plan to have a long-term partnership with CTRS and develop a local community rescue space that can expand to help more cats in the future,” he added.

    Chan and his team have set up a GoFundMe page so they can “build a safe, functional and sanitary shelter for the cats within Catoro Cafe.”

    Featured Image (left) via Instagram/Catorocafe, (right) GoFundme/Nathan Chan

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