Seattle's first cat cafe is here. Seattle Meowtropolitan is now taking reservations for cat-loving sessions beginning December 19. Ten dollars gets you 50 minutes of congress in the cat room.

Given the excitement surrounding this Taiwan-born phenomenon and its arrival in Seattle, Matt Lai and his two fellow cofounders could have thrown a few litterboxes and one of those shag carpeted cat condo thingies in a room, sat back, and watched the reservations roll in.

Instead, the trio has seriously decked out their space. Lai says the main instructions were cat walkways, a central structure for climbing...and a medieval theme. I have to wonder about the internal conversations that happen when, as a design/build business, you receive a call about a project like this. But Meowtropolitan worked with some great people (Catch Design Studio and Splinter and Slag) who have done restaurant projects around the city.

And boy did they rise to the challenge. Check out the photos above—a mix of my own and ones pilfered, with permission, from Splinter and Slag's website.

The actual cafe, an anterior room offering Herkimer espresso and sweets from Fuji Bakery, opens at 9am just for coffee. Order a latte, Americano, or (yep) a meowcha and the first question you'll get is whether you're planning to play with the cats. If your final destination is indeed the cat room, it's a disposable cup for you. "Once food items go in, they can't come back out," says Lai. 

As of December 19, Seattle Meowtropolitan will be open from 11am to 3pm and 4 to 9pm. Though hours are subject to change as the business gets its footing. The cat room itself has a max capacity of 20 people, and can hold up to 18 cats, all ready to be adopted. Right now the first crew of 10 is getting acquainted with the space. 

Seattle Meowtropolitan's address is 1225 N 45th St, and you can make a reservation on the website. And no work of journalism concerning cat cafes would be complete without this reminder: These are places to go to visit and play with cats, maybe over a cup of coffee. Do not, for the love of god, bring your own cat to a cat cafe. What's that old cliche about not bringing sand to the beach? Imagine that, but with claws.

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