He did research on it to some extent, but when Amane entered the cat cafe personally, the space before him was more spacious than he imagined.
The duo paid, sanitized their hands with alcohol, entered the cafe, and saw cats everyone. Some were strolling around, some were curled, and some were playing with the customers.
“Woah…it’s bigger than I thought, and prettier.”
As the cafe provided food, cleanliness was a must. In spite of that, the cafe was much cleaner than he imagined.
The distinct stench of animals could not be detected. It was practically odorless.
This shop was very popular, but there were few seats, so that the kittens would not be pressurized.
The shop contained a rest area for cats, and the purpose appeared to be for people to share space with the cats, rather than just have fun.
The cat cafe charged by hour, and it was rather pricey. Despite that, one would think the price was worth it, given the pretty decorations and the comforting atmospheres.
“Phaaa…cats…please look, Amane-kun. This little one looks really cute.”
Mahiru whispered as she tugged at Amane’s sleeve, for there were other cats and customers around. However, her voice contained much excitement.
She looked around as she stared at the various cats, her eyes sparkling.
Mahiru hardly talked about animals, but it appeared she really loved these cats. Amane too unwittingly smiled as he saw how excited she was.
“Yeah, they’re really cute.”
“Nn. Ah, I think that one is called Silk-chan.”
It appeared Mahiru did not understand which was the cute one Amane referred to. She had taken the book containing the photos, names and breed, and pointed at Siamese cat.
That cat had black fur on its tail and the area around the face. It had white fur all over its thin limbs.
It had distinct blue eyes, and carried a regal presence.
Mahiru’s eyes faltered, and she had the urge to touch. However, the shop forbade sudden contact, so Mahiru knelt down to exchange looks with it, before she gently reached her finger to its nose.
The twitchy nose sniffed at Mahiru’s hand.
It seemed this little gesture had Mahiru muttering “Cute”. She probably was fond of cats.
Once Silk had a sniff of Mahiru’s smell, it gracefully walked away.
And immediately, Mahiru looked completely despondent.
“I don’t think it hates you. It just leaves after greeting you.”
“Is that so…”
“Yeah. Just let it get familiar with you. Anyway, let’s find a place to sit.”
Mahiru stood up, and Amane held her hand. They sat at an empty sofa.
Finally, they could get a full view of the entire room. It contained various cats.
They had just seen a Siamese cat. There was also American Shorthairs, Exotic Shorthairs, Russian Blue, Munchkins, Bengals, and various others.
Slightly far away from them was an American Shorthair, curled as it sat on a table. A lady seated there was gently caressing it.
Mahiru was clearly looking envious at the other customers. Amane gave a wry smile as he looked at the menu.
It appeared the dishes served in this shop were highly rated.
The most popular was probably the latte with a cat latte art. There seemed to be a worker who was really good at it, and it was said people often uploaded photos of the latte onto social media.
Mahiru kept staring at the cats that were walking around. Amane let her be as he called for the attendant, and ordered a signature latte.
“I’ll order the same for you. Is that alright?”
“Hm? Ah, yes, that is fine.”
Mahiru’s eyes were completely fixated on the cats, and she never noticed Amane.
She was fine with both coffee and black tea. Since he had the opportunity, Amane decided to give her a little surprise, and did not tell her what he ordered.
After a while, the attendant served their drinks with a smile.
The attendant slowly put the lattes on the the table without ruining the art, nodded, and left. Mahiru in turn stared intently at the latter on the table.
“You dislike this?”
“N-no. It is really cute…!”
“That’s good then.”
The cup before Mahiru had a latte art of a sleeping cat all curled up, and the cocoa formed its patterns and expression. Amane’s had a cat leaning onto the edge of the cup.
The latte was finely shaped, and looked cute. It was no wonder it was so popular.
Mahiru looked completely elated, and probably wanted to save that impression she had as she took photos on her smartphone. For some reason, she looked stunned.
“I cannot bring myself to drink it when it looks so cute…”
Once he heard her mutter, Amane burst out laughin.
“P-please do not laugh at me.”
“No no, I was thinking that you’re troubled by this cute thing.”
“B-because…it is a pity to ruin such a cute cat…”
“It’s a pity not to drink it.”
While he understood how Mahiru felt, he had a feeling that the latte art would be ruined if left be. The maker would be happy if she were to drink it before it cooled and was ruined.
Once he thoroughly appraised the photo, he casually brought the cup to his lips.
Ahhhh…he heard a sad groan next to him, and did his best not to ruin the art as he drank. The latte tasted good, and the richness of both the coffee and the milk were just right.
It was not sweet, but Amane was fine with black coffee. No worries for him here.
“Yep. It’s good.”
Mahiru mumbled away once she saw Amane sigh and express his comments, but she hesitated to bring the cup to her mouth.
She made sure not to ruin the cat on the latte, and cautiously lifted it. it was an amusing and adorable sight that left Amane smiling.
“Wh-why do I feel I am taken for a fool?”
“You’re thinking too much. Is it good?”
“Yes. Of course.”
Mahiru moved the cup away from her lips, and Amane started huffing his shoulders.
“Wh-why are you laughing?”
“Well, you have a white beard on your face.”
There was a Santa-like white beard near her mouth, as she paid too much attention not to destroy the cat and failed to notice the milk foam.
She looked so adorable that Amane instinctively took his smartphone out to take photos.
“Ah! Y-you just took a photo!?”
“Sorry. Do I have to delete it?”
“A-are you keeping that embarrassing photo?”
“It’s so cute, so I,”
Mahiru bit her lips when she heard his eyes, and her cheeks reddened slightly. “…just one.” she muttered.
The white beard remained on her face as she said so. Amane felt his heart warm as he nodded, resisting the urge to laugh.