While working at The List, one of my co-workers went to Japan and visited a rabbit café. This was a little café where you sip coffee and pet rabbits. It sounded like a relaxing afternoon. They told me that they also have cat cafes in Japan.
But it seems cats and rabbits are now old school. The Japanese have now moved onto new animal-focused cafes from hedgehogs to goats. When I went, I found an owl café where you could hang out with owls and pet them until your heart’s content.
Naturally, I had to check it out.
Because owls are little timid, this café was more of a petting tour that ended in a café rather than one where you have tea with an owl at your table. I had never pet an owl before so wasn’t sure what to do, but no worries, the guy at the entrance (who did not speak English), had a stuffed owl and mimed out the instructions with it. For example, he showed me (using the stuffed owl) that you pet the owl with the back of your hand. If you pet the owl with the palm of your hand – he made the stuffed owl peck at me.
He also showed that you only pet the top of the head. If you pet the stomach – peck, peck, peck. It was a rather hilarious learning experience, but I got what I supposed to do. No tummy rubs, or you’ll be pecked.
The room was peaceful and as I walked along the winding path to the café, there were dozens of owls for me to pet. Big ones, littles ones, sleepy ones.
I was surprised how soft they were and how accommodating they were to being touched. I could now see how the wizards in Harry Potter could have them as pets.