Lola – or Rora – to give her a slightly more Japanese pronunciation – is a beauty and she knows it.
Customers pay by the hour for her company. Usually they just want to stroke her, but as a special treat for favoured clients, she will lie back in a chair, close her eyes and pose for photographs.
Lola is a Persian cat who works at the Ja La La Cafe in Tokyo’s bustling Akihabara district. It is one of a growing number of Cat Cafes in the city which provide visitors with short but intimate encounters with professional pets.
When I called, there were 12 felines and seven customers, mostly single men.
One man, in his early 30s, was attempting to bond with an Oriental Longhair by means of a rubber mouse.
Yutsuke, who speaks with a lisp, is normally rather shy with people. He longs for a cat of his own but frequent business trips make that difficult. Besides, he lives alone, so the Ja La La is his solution to the problem.
An idea for Brussels and lonely business people?