When silk starts purring it means you are stroking a cat.

Ailuromania Cat Cafe.
When silk starts purring

A couple of years ago I saw a short but a very interesting photo essay about a cat café opening which was the first café not only in Dubai but in the Arabian Gulf either. People come here not just to have a cup of coffee

but to spend time with cats - stately, careful, naughty and extremely curious furry kids pervading the room, calming you down and saving you from loneliness.

The name ‘Ailuromania’ is in sync with a psychological term "ailurophilia" meaning cats-mania.

The cat cafe idea had its springs in Thailand in 1998. It was Thai Bay city where the world’s first cat cafe was opened. In 2004 the second cat cafe was opened in Osaka, Japan. Later on such places started spreading in Asia.

Watching cats incarnating tenderness and grace is a great pleasure.  Every cat hosts a sybarite, a man of pleasure, comfort and idleness. You can endlessly admire their lazing in the sun,

their washing themselves leisurely and passionately, their graceful way and indifferent look when they knock things over from tables and shelves to clear the place for their unhurried walks.

Moreover cats have some healing power. Purr-purr feline therapy. If you are tired, feel sad or sick at heart, keep company with a cat and it will help you to ease them.

After coming back home from the café, taking a shower and having a cup of tea, suddenly you realize all your inner worries have already settled. Your headache and tiredness have vanished and you are light and calm of heart.

While playing with a cat it remains to be seen who is playing with who- I play with it or it plays with me.

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, a French Renaissance philosopher and thinkerThumb

Cat enjoys this game so much that you are getting involved into its mischief. First as a spectator. Then you wish to join in.

And you pick up something rustling or clinking like a sugar packet or candy dots and start pretending to be either a mouse or a bird being thrilled to bits to have become cat huntable aim.

In general cats are simply a gem. No wonder cat cafes are getting more and more popular spreading outside Asia. The first European cafe was opened in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2011. A year later a cat cafe was opened in Vienna (Austria) and late on in some cities in Germany.

In 2014 a cat cafe concept crept to the Middle East with its cat velvet tread. "Ailuromanina-café" was opened in Dubai not far from Jumeirah Beach. The foundresses are four sisters of Saudi Arabia ancestry:

Allaa (whose name means "blessings"), Iman ("faith"), Omnia ("aspiration", "strong desire") and Arwa (an ancient Arabian name with one of its meanings "gracefulness", "fresh"). All sisters are surprisingly graceful and... catlike.

Either their big beautiful eyes looking through you or their soft and sleek communication manner. Each sister has her own charm, eastern charisma and a deep secret.

At first they seem to be so delicate and defenseless. But after a short talk with these beautiful girls you realize they have strong energy and readiness to dig in feet in case of need.

Iman is sitting in front of me smiling nicely, eyeing me up with her dark cat-like eyes with thick lashes. I spent the whole day in her café and I have already seen such looks. Amber-yellow, emerald-green, sky-blue.

And now this piercing hazel glance. I am getting a little entranced with this soft and predatorial look. This glance is impossible to take in. I am opening my inner barriers and asking that very question open and aboveboard: why cats?

And then Iman tells me a story so similar to mine. In their childhood she and her sisters picked up cats in the streets taking them home. But their mother was totally against such guests and she made her daughters take their furry friends away.

Typical good-hearted teenagers. However sisters’ passion for cats kept on being strong. As soon as they grew up and found their feet they made up their mind to set up a café entirely dedicated to their favorite animals.

There are a lot of breedy and semi-breedy bombshells in Ailuromania cat café. Maine Coon furry cross breeds - Lulu, Alaska, Reem and my favorite Rayan. Himalayan Bella, Balinese touch-me-not Smokey, Scottish Emo, Bengal Kenda and Arwa… 

There are Arabian Mau cats picked up in the streets or adopted from shelters: Tigger who likes to have a nap on your knees, musical Yoda and of course the adorable red Leo who is constantly dozing curling up cozy. 

During our conversation I understand the girls know both names of all twenty three pets and their peculiar habits. Allaa joins our conversation. She tells how it is difficult to leave her favorites in case you have to go away. Aboard for example.

In this case she asks the personal to provide her with cats’ photo and video reports. Because all these furry and whiskered are her family members. Every “tail” is like a child and her heart bleeds for each of them.

Cat kingdom in Jumeirah is not just a café for the sisters. It is the continuation of their house and cats are appeared to live there either. "Ailuromania cafe" is passion first.

The café is located near Kite and Open beach. It is nice to drop in after spending time near the sea for afternoon or evening tea. Upon entering you will have to leave a deposit which includes a drink. As the mood takes you can order colored macaroons or pastry on a plate decorated with chocolate cats.

You are supposed to be a must-love- cats and must-adore- cats. Otherwise you are going to be surprised that sometimes by cats themselves jumping up on your table wishing to try your ice-cream or to use your knees as a comfortable bed.

A cat will do its best to keep itself on your knees even when you are standing up from your chair. Till the very last moment it hopes your conscience will wake up inside you and you will sit back.

Pamela «Pam» Brown, Australian poetessThumb pam brown

And one more thing. If you adore animals but you are allergic to them you can have a table in the second room of the café without cats and admire these fluffy animals through the glass.

In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.

Terry Pratchett, English authorThumb terry pratchett

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    Author and photographerVictoria Lazareva
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