Fashion Tribe

Neko Café, for the love of cats

June 26th, 2016

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Michelle Brown didn't mind Cardamom's foot on her face at the one-day Neko Café pop-up inside MORI by Art+Flea.

Hawaii is home to lots of animal lovers and familiarity with the Japanese concept of cafés with animals—from dogs to goats to snakes to owls—you can snuggle up to.

But it all started with cats, and during Adopt-A-Cat Month, the Hawaiian Humane Society teamed up with MORI by Art+Flea and Morning Glass to present a one-day pop-up Neko Cafe at Ward Village Shops.

I thought it would be a lazy Saturday far from the masses at the grand opening of Ala Moana Center's Japan Village Walk June 25, but I arrived at MORI to see a long line and steady stream of people wanting in for the opportunity to sit and cuddle with a cat.

Because some of them were already cat owners with no intention to adopt, I have no idea why they would wait in line to pet another cat.

Many hands at work.

The event was to have ended at 2 p.m., but that's about when they cut off the line, still about two hours long because people who were sitting with the cats were in no rush to leave. By that time, nine out of 20 cats had been adopted.

MORI director Aly Ishikuni said she was surprised by the turnout and said because of the enthusiasm, this won't be the last cat cafe we'll be seeing in Honolulu. A lot of the people in the crowd are advocating for a permanent site to help alleviate the stray/abandoned cat over-population on Oahu.

As a bird person, I ask, how about a bird cafe too?

Hawaii people love a line.

Tania Torres dressed for the occasion.

Christine Kam of Hawaiian Humane Society holds on to one of the more active kittens.

In addition to petting cats and purchasing refreshments from Morning Glass, attendees could make a donation to the Humane Society to help care for animals in their charge. Kela Wong, left, and Michi Sato, were helping out.

Cat owners and cat lovers could shop for a variety of made in Hawaii cat merch, such as these YKNOT bow ties.

There was also cute ceramic ware, big and small, by Dee Oliva.

Something for the wall.

Or a tank top to wear.

Mahina Akimoto of Morning Glass, with one of the kittens.


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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her fashion coverage in print in Saturday's Today section. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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