This is one means of public transport we’re definitely on board with. First of all, it’s a train (convenient), secondly, it’s a café (reads: delicious food) and thirdly there are cats galore! Crazy cat ladies listen up: The world’s first "Cat Café Train" took its maiden voyage on the weekend, travelling between Japan’s Ogaki and Ikeno.
Inspired by the global success of "cat cafés", where one can sip a tea and snuggle up with a furry companion for an hour or two, the Cat Cafe Train is a fusion of food, fur and travel.
Passengers who bought a ticket for the Cat Café Train were given a bento box lunch, sweets and unlimited cat cuddles from around 30 felines for the entirety of their journey.
The Cat Café Train was a one-day event organised by rescue group Sanctuary (also behind the cat cafés in the Gifu Prefecture), who aim to raise awareness of stray cats in Japan. Each of the cats hitching a ride on the train were rescued from shelters where they were to be put down.
When tickets went on sale for the train trip there was an overwhelming response and the event sold out in just one day. Some of the proceeds will go to support Sanctuary’s rescue cat operations.
In Japan, things are looking a little more purr-sitive for our furry friends. The number of cats in Japan admitted to shelters has dropped impressively by around 70 percent from 2004. That has reduced the number of cats culled from 238,929 in 2004 to 45,574 in 2016.
Passengers of the Cat Café Train took to social media to share the purry love.
"Just returned from the best place on the planet, world's first cat cafe train, Yoro Tetsudo, Japan," Tweeted one man.
Cat lovers hope the Cat Cafe Train will welcome the cats (and humans) back for another ride.