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There Is A Cat Café In Newcastle And It's Purr-Fect

Mog on the Tyne awaits you.

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The café is the brainchild of 28-year-old Katie Jane Glazier, a fashion design graduate originally from York.

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"I came up here for university 10 years ago," Katie tells BuzzFeed Life. "I did fashion design and realised it wasn’t for me after a few years, and since then I’ve been working in and managing cafés. It’s turned out really well because I know what I’m doing on this side of things now."

There are 11 cats on the premises, who mostly chill out on the various playthings.

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Tinks, pictured above left, channeled every human being come 6pm on a weekday by lying on, rather than using, the exercise wheel.

"We partnered up with them," explains Glazier. "If people come here and decide they want a cat, we send them there. It’s important to rehome cats, I think."

The cafe has been in progress for two years. "It takes so long to plan," Glazier explains.

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"It was a bit of an issue to get property," she adds. "A lot of landlords said no; they didn’t understand why we’d want a load of cats here. The council were supportive though: because we’re serving food, everything has to be separate. The food is prepared already and brought in, we can’t cook here."

Glazier has been getting advice from other cat café owners in the UK, and travelling abroad to Japan.

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There are around 100 cat cafes in Tokyo alone, she says. "The reason I wanted to do it was I love cats and I was managing a café. I thought I could put these two things together."

There have been some hitches, though: the planning process isn't designed for cat cafés. "We’ve got a performing animals licence," Glazier says. "They’re not performing but the council said it’s the closest thing they can license. The other type of licence is for a cattery, but we’re not a cattery."

Every member of staff has a cat-related qualification, and if the felines aren't feeling it, they can relax downstairs away from customers.

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The cafe initially can seat 20 people, but Glazier is playing that by ear, and the capacity could decrease.

"There’ll be signs when you come in saying: 'Please don’t pick the cats up, let them come to you to stroke them, and don’t wake them up'," she says.

"I’ve been staying here since the cats moved in," Glazier says, "just until we get full shutters on the windows."

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"Then we’ve got cameras so we can monitor them on a night," she continues, "otherwise I’d just get paranoid."

The café will be open daily from 9am-9pm, though there'll be a cat nap between 3-5pm. After that, Glazier explains, "the cameras link up to my phone: from 10pm to 8am, I can always see them."

One of the oldest cats is five-year-old Shini, Glazier's own cat, who spent her time overseeing the others from a high shelf.

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And then there's Stan, who – whisper it quietly – might be Glazier's favourite. "Stan’s had a hard life," Glazier explains: "he was knocked over by a car and had to have his jaw rewired. That’s why his tongue hangs out all the time. I just think it’s adorable. He just always wants to sit on you. He loves people more than he loves other cats."

"There’s a lot of people in Newcastle who would come here," Glazier believes.

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"There’s a lot of students here living in accommodation where you can’t have pets, and a lot of city workers in Newcastle and this can be a retreat away from a busy city," she adds.

Pre-launch bookings have exceeded expectations at Mog on the Tyne.

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"We put the booking thing online and it just went crazy. For a while now we’ve been building up an online community and we just had to put it out there that you can book now," Glazier notes.

With just over a week until launch, I asked Glazier how she's feeling. "I’m a bit excited and nervous," she said. "It’s overwhelming; we’ve been working so long to get it sorted and it doesn’t feel real. I was more nervous before the booking thing was online, thinking what if no one comes, but now I know that’s not the case."

Though you might think 11 cats in a room would be chaos, they all got on.

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"I think a lot of people doubted if they would get on," Glazier says, "but because they know each other from Westgate Ark and have grown up together, it’s been good. Westgate Ark gave us cats who they thought would specifically be outgoing and friendly to people."

They've already proved a hit with those who've had a sneak peek.

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A couple of police officers popped into the café on their round a few days before, according to Glazier. "They said they didn’t want to go, they just felt really calm in here. It’s really relaxing."

The cats even managed to draw a yelp of glee from Michael, the friendly photographer who is so chill he did not panic when tapas literally filled up his entire gullet to the tonsils.

At one point, when watching the moggies frolic, the small kittens sleeping in their bed, Glazier said: "It’s therapeutic, just stroking a cat."

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I agree. Also for those of you with allergies, don't worry about it: the cafe has HEPA air purifiers running, and clean regularly, which meant that while I was in there I could play without fear of a furry throat.

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