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With cats like these, who needs soap operas? Photos: Nicholas Yong

The Real Housecats Of Upper Bukit Timah: Cuteness, Fights, And Love Triangles

Working from home all day, attending online meetings, chasing deadlines… it can be crazy stressful these days trying to achieve work-life balance. Sometimes, you just want to get away for a few hours without going on an all-out staycation.

Well, according to various scientific research, you can destress by petting cats (if you really need a reason to go pet cats - or dogs too, we don’t judge).

Photo: Nicholas Yong

So we did just that and took a quick break to celebrate International Cat Day (8 Aug), and made a beeline for The Cat Café at The Rail Mall to play with these furry felines. The main branch is at Bugis, but the one at The Rail Mall might be the perfect place if you want more time with the cats to yourself, especially on weekdays.

All these cats have their own personalities – you could say they are almost hooman.

We came during the kitties’ nap time (sadly) but we did learn that the best time to visit is at 10am or in the late afternoon between 4pm and 5pm – that’s when it’s makan time and all the cats will be fed at a central area for everyone to see.

Here are some of the 14 cute cat-racters we met at the Rail Mall branch:

Moscato aka The Gatekeeper

Likes the attention, and will wait by the entrance for people to come in. Loves a face massage on the cheeks.

Photo: Nicholas Yong

Sushi aka The Workaholic

It's easy to spot Sushi - look out for the "moustache"! Sushi will sit on anyone’s lap without invitation, and, according to the staff, is "the hardest worker" here.

Photo: Nicholas Yong

Mudpie aka The Loyalist

Mudpie is the cafe owner's loyal feline, and will remain silent until the boss comes to visit. When we were around, though, Mudpie had the zoomies on the hanging catwalk above our heads.

Mochi aka The Alpha

Meet the de-facto alpha cat of The Rail Mall branch, only for its sheer size. But hey, Mochi has dropped from 8kg to 6kg - ready for IPPT, ok.

Photo: Nicholas Yong

Skippy aka The Grump

When we met Skippy, he was lazing the day away hidden. While he looks grumpy, we were assured he’s sociable – reminds us of an uncle at the coffeeshop.

Photos: Nicholas Yong

And the cafe has its very own K-drama love triangle too:

Bobo, Marmite, Marshmallow aka The Lovers

Newcomer to the cafe Bobo (left) who enjoys chin scratches is in love with but is constantly rejected by Marmite (middle) who loves butt pats and whose true love is a handsome white cat named Marshmallow (right) who seems blasé about everything. Will this love story end a-meow-zingly well or cat-astrophically? We'll be back soon to find out.

Cha Cha aka The Inspiration

The last one we got a chance to encounter was Cha Cha (the other half of Bobo - geddit? Bobo Cha Cha?), who inspires us to look at everything in life (including this nightmarish endemic COVID-19 sitch) with a DGAF face.

Tips for when you visit

Before you make a booking, here are some things we learnt to make your visit more enjoyable for yourself, and, more importantly, a pleasant one for the cats:

  • Take the cat’s lead. Allow the cat to make the decision.
  • Don’t call out to them. Just let them be, and they’ll come to you.
  • Cats don’t like to be carried, don’t even try.
  • In general, less is more when petting a cat. Go for soft strokes in the same direction of their fur.
  • Each cat is an individual, and has their own preferences on how to be petted.

It’s $16 for a two-hour visit (the fee comes with a drink which you can pick up on your way out), and $4 for every subsequent 30 minutes. Make a reservation here. Only kids aged six and above can enter, and children below 12 must visit with an adult.

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