Sunday, 19 January 2014

Mia's Review: We're The Furballs (Newly Renovated)

If you're a dog lover staying in the East, you gotta know what's WTF (my first post with all necessary details). And some time last year, they decided to go on a hiatus and renovate the place, which ended up taking quite a while and it got me pretty worried, thinking that they might have closed down. 
But fret not, WTF has re-opened some time late last year. 

 They have decided to 'down-size' the shop by shifting entire to the 2nd level and also cutting short the opening hours to 2:30pm till 9:30pm/11:00pm. 
And yes, we got there at 2pm so we gotta hang around outside the shop for 30 minutes before the lady boss arrived with Mochi and her hubby followed close behind with Lola. In case you didn't know, the smaller pups are facing problems of bullying so Mochi and Lola don't get to stay overnight in the shop. Mochi and Yuki-chan also got separated from the rest, and in the 2 hours we were there, Lola (still kept together with the rest of the pups) was mob-attacked twice, led by Lulu first and then Buibui. 

Charges are still extremely affordable at only $8.90 on weekends/PH, which comes with a complimentary choice of drinks (additional charge of $1 may apply to certain drinks) and no limits to the number of hours spent at the pups' playpen. 

 As you can see, the pups' mug-shot posters are still around!

 A string of hand written/drawn notes lined the wall at Mochi+Yuki-chan isolated area. I came across one note hoping that Yuki-chan will not be bullied anymore. T.T

 And as you can see, the dog plushies are still hanging on the ceiling lamps and there's additional shelving on the wall for patrons to leave their drinks on. 

Something new in this newly renovated WTF is this dog treats grabber machine! At $1 per try, you can easily get some dog treats to entice the pups to do basic commands like, "Sit" and "Paw Paw". Lola executed them perfectly but Yuki-chan didn't seem to know these commands. 

And do expect yourself to turn into this number 1 puppy-attractor once you have the packet of dog treats in your hands. 

Another video showing Lola executing the "Paw Paw" command. Sorry for my annoying voice at the end.

Another change I've observed in the new WTF is that Yuki-chan has grown less friendly towards the patrons (is it due to bullying? T.T) and Mochi has grown less hostile after being separated from the rest and kept only with Yuki-chan. In fact, Mochi was begging for lap-naps while we're there! 

Mochi dead-asleep. And she continued sleeping even when YS flipped her over. Either she's dead tired or YS has got some awesome lap. *rofl*

 Even though I noticed Yuki-chan has grown less friendly, I'm still super glad that she still trust me enough to nap on my lap. And when some new patrons came in and tried to touch her, she ran to hid behind my legs. Aww....

The exact same sleeping face (however, with a cheeky tongue) seen on Lola as she napped on YS's lap. 


And sharing a funny shots of Bui Bui. I have no idea what she has up to, but she just lied at the swing door motionlessly for quite a while. I guess she was sniffing for Yuki-chan and Mochi? 
Hmm, bad puppy!

Till then,
Mia

Monday, 13 January 2014

Mia's Review: Neko No Niwa (Cat Cafe)

Just in case you didn't know, we finally have a pet cafe dedicated to cat lovers in Singapore starting since Christmas Day 2013, located conveniently at Boat Quay.
Needless to say, ohyzfinaldust and I quickly arranged to set a date for a visit... which took place sometime earlier this month. 
warning: picture heavy post

 Located at 2nd storey of the row of shophouses and coupled with a pretty tiny signboard, it's actually quite easy to miss it. I reckon this kind of hints at their exclusivity. It's really difficult for someone to chance upon this cat cafe unless one is determined to visit.
There's this short staircase leading up to the cafe, with both sides of the wall painted with adorable cat doodling.






I personally love the one of the sleeping kitty dreaming of a fish. Ahahaha, what a glutton!

The cafe is not very big, consisting of a cats' section and the food section. You can order some drinks or dessert from within the cats' section via this window. The food section also consist on a small stretch of 'lawn', the only area whereby footwear is allowed, for patrons to remove their shoes and leave them at the shoe rack (not in pictures). We were also reminded to wash our hands before entering the cats' section, after being handed a ticket (upon which you have an assigned number used to order food and make payment when you leave), and also on the rules and regulations at the cafe. One of which, is to not disturb the cats when they're napping. 

And guess what, ALL the cats were napping when we dropped by at 415pm. Yes, cats all nap in the day. So really, what's the point of spending $12 an hour (and $5 per subsequent half an hour) to sit around and observe sleeping cats? 

 Showing more of the cats' sleeping areas.... Yes, they were all asleep... and we can't disturb them. 

 And so I decided to play with the cat's toys and read through their handbook instead....

And yes, all their cats were rescued cats. It's rather commendable for their thoughtfulness and care for these abandoned poor kitties, to nurse their malnourished and sickly bodies back into health and give them a second chance in life. And hopefully, it can also induce a higher acceptance of adoption in potential pet owners by showing them that there really isn't any difference between shelter animals and those caged up in pet farms. They're all equally highly individualistic and loveable. :)

And giving you an introduction of all 13 cats housed at Neko No Niwa...

Out of these 13 cats, we didn't get to see Dewey at all, for he's been sleeping in one of the sleeping hut the full 2 hours we are there. A few other cats like Mr. White, Jiajia and Little Miss Muffet did too, but they slept in open boxes/hammock so we can still see them sleeping. Other cats like Baloo, Luna, and Brown Monkey spent most of the 2 hours napping/stoning in the huts/covered boxes too.
So for that $22 worth of 2 hours we spent there, we only did get to see/interact with less than half of the cats.

Sleeping Jia Jia... Look, she's an 'ombre' cat! 

 Sleeping Kai Kai, Jia Jia's brother....

 After which Kai Kai woke up for a brief moment, only to join Jia Jia back to sleep on the single seater couch in an yinyang style. At one point when Kai Kai was woken up by someone kicking against the furniture, he spun around and literally sat on Jia Jia's face, who continued sleeping. Ahahahaha, so funny!

 Kai Kai yawning like a boss while he was up....

 There's Dewey who remained deep in sleep in this pink hut throughout the 2 hours we were there...

There's Little Miss Muffet, who also pretty much slept throughout the 2 hours.

 She woke up for a while and looked pretty miffed at me trying to snap a picture of her....

 The dead sleeping Skittles who didn't care that we placed all the cat nips on/around her to snap pictures... Eventually she woke up and even chillax on a pillow on oyhz's lap!

Luna, who was hiding in a box to nap, and was only out for a brief moment for a drink.

So was Baloo, brother of Little Miss Muffet and also the biggest cat in the cafe. See his paw hanging out because he has filled up almost the entire box. *rofl*

 Here's Baloo when he's out for a quick drink. He really is hugeeeee! To get an idea, scroll down and compare with the picture of Robbie drinking from the exact same water feeder.

 There's Brown Monkey stoning (he never came out of the hut even though he never napped) beside a napping Emma....
Brown Monkey got attracted by the cat nip first and woke up Emma with one of his cat-swipe.

 And then Emma got totally hooked...


And she came out of the hut just to play with the cat nip! :) What a beauty!

And also to chew on Finaldust's bag strap. Ahahaha!


Suddenly there was a small hoo-haa at the other side of the room and we realised that Demi has woken up and leaped onto the chair. That kink in her tail is actually pretty entertaining. Try touching it and see her swipe her tail around... but actually we aren't supposed to irritate her tail like that. :(

Soon, Miley also came out from her hidden spot in the tunnel linked to the food section and we got the chance to use the grooming brush on her, under supervision of the staff of course.

 Here's Robbie, the 'tail-less' cat that gave affectionate headbutt to Finaldust after he mimicked the staff's position which earned him a few headbutts too. But when oyhz tried, Robbie couldn't be bothered. 


And with the end of my picture spamming, let's move on to my thoughts on Neko No Niwa. First and foremost, kudos to them for setting up this cafe to give these abandoned kitties a 2nd chance in life. But in my most honest opinion, that basically summed up my good views towards this cat cafe. I can't comment on their food quality, because I couldn't be bothered to order anything on top of my $22 hourly charges for 2 hours spent with sleeping cats. 
My favourite dog cafe, WTF, now charges barely $9 on a weekend and allows us to stay with the puppies from the time they open at 2:30pm all the way until they closes at 10pm. What's more, we get a drink too! Need I say more?

For cat lovers out there, you'll know cat nap away most of their days, and with their opening hours ending at 9pm and apparently (or so I heard) limiting the number of patrons interacting with the cats at one time to prevent the kitties getting freaked out by too many strangers, how many lucky patrons can really get their money worthwhile by truly playing with the cats (when they wake up in the evening/night) and not obliged to just sit around and stare at them sleeping/stoning?
And yes, I am using the word 'obliged' for a good reason. Apart from being reminded on their rules of never to disturb a sleeping cat or carrying them, at one point one of their staff also came into the cats' section and kept us under his watchful eyes, reminding us of their rules whenever he caught us breaking them. 

Namely (apart from the 2 mentioned), 
1. Do not touch their paws.
2. Do not touch their bellies.
3. Do not irritate their tails
4. (You're doing it wrong) Do not stroke their head too fast. You should go slow.
5. Do not wave the cat nip mouse's tail at the stoning Brown Monkey. Do not disturb them! 

So the conclusion should be obvious. Why bother spending $12 an hour to sit around in an aircon room with other strangers to look at sleeping cats, and be 'told off' by staff when you try to interact with the cats? There should be more than enough strays at your void deck to entertain you, as long as you prepare some cat feed.
But oh well, just to be fair, I do believe that it would definitely feel very much less of a horrible rip-off should we have visited at night when the cats are done sleeping. 
So yup, if you're interested, start calling and DEMAND slots for late evenings/nights! It really is pointless to drop by in the day. 

For more information, visit their facebook HERE.

Till then,
Mia
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