Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
The other day, a cold-hearted Brooklyn kid kicked a cat, and then the Internet exploded.
I’m with the Internet on this one. I have two cats that I’m fiercely in love with and this kind of story makes me insane.
Clearly, there are a lot of people in my camp. Witness the multiple cat cafés - casual spots that stock snacks, drinks and temporary cat companionship - that are in various stages of opening here in the U.S.
Note that local health departments have rules about live animals in eating establishments, so you’ll no doubt see a separation of the food service area from the cat hangout zone. There are also animal treatment rules to be observed; you probably won’t be able to pick up the cute cat lounging nearby, although most of these places will double as pet adoption agencies.
Note: None of these spots are open yet. To get a look at a successful cat café culture, check out Tokyo, where there are places where each cat has its own set of baby pictures, headshots and videos. Awwwwwww.
Lopburi, Thailand, is famous for the small but feisty - and sometimes downright vicious - long-tailed macaques that live among its ancient temples and can often be seen creating mischief in the streets. The town throws an annual "monkey buffet," which gives the animals a chance to gorge on over 2,000 kilograms of fruits, vegetables and other treats like candy and soda.
Recently, news broke that made-in-China dog jerky treats had killed about 600 pets (mostly dogs, along with almost a dozen cats) and made thousands more ill. Poor guys. The FDA’s veterinary medicine chief, Dr. Bernadette Dunham, called it “One of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered.”
I hate that headline. I love my two cats, Lily Gorilla and Coco, who, I’m afraid, are pretty spoiled. (They occasionally score leftovers from the Food & Wine Test Kitchen and from restaurants around New York City.) Still, there are some lengths I’m not ready to go to, like paying $1,000 for treats.
Here are some of the more extravagant things people are doing for their pets. And before my cats start feeling left out, I’ll note that they’re all geared toward dogs.
Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
News that the Japanese company B&H Lifes has started selling a new wine called Nyan Nyan Nouveau, which is made specifically for cats - yes, cats - makes one wonder what, exactly, the rest of the animal kingdom is supposed to do. The feline wine, apparently made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and catnip (though sans any alcohol), sells for $4 a bottle.
I’ll leave aside the bizarre idea that a wine for cats could actually cost more than Two-Buck Chuck, a wine for humans, and return to my earlier question. Suppose, for instance, your local Lhasa Apso is seeking a tasty adult beverage? What if the your neighbor’s pet goat has a craving for booze? Below, a few options for the other members of the four-footed set (which, I’ll add, are all well worth drinking by people, too).
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