A citizen journalist sent us these images from Tehran and wrote:
“A great big, open house with a cozy courtyard for both cats and guests. When you enter this magical place, it’s advisable to put a cover on your shoes. Welcome to the Persian Cat Museum Café.
“The atmosphere’s quiet, with cats strolling around or lounging on chairs, cat-shaped dishes, play equipment, and guests ordering a variety of vegetarian snacks and socializing with their four-legged friends. Anna is a regular customer, and comes here with her cat. ‘Honestly,’ she says, ‘after separating from my husband, I got a Persian cat at the suggestion of a friend, and named it Misha. She really made me feel good.’
"As a vegetarian, animal rights activist and cat lover, Anna is the café’s model customer. ‘I bring Misha with me and she plays with her friends. Imagine sitting in a quiet corner here, caressing the plump, soft bodies of these wonderful creatures. You can be sure that all the thoughts in your head will be gone. All at once.’
"Of course, in the Persian Cat Museum Café, you can’t just do what you like. You have to pay careful attention to the owner’s advice. Relax, don’t hug them tightly, and don’t do anything that interferes with their rest and relaxation.
"The walls of the two-storey building are covered with stamps bearing cat designs, as well as paintings, from different countries. The variety and multiplicity show the different historical connections various countries have with a given breed of cat. Founder Babak Akbari, a lifelong cat lover, says: ‘We’ve collected about 800 cat stamps over the years. We enlarged each of them and mounted them on the walls.’
"Elsewhere there are photos by professionals who have made cats the subject of their work. On the second floor is an exhibit focused on the presence of cats in the history and literature of Iran. Here, colorful paintings of Obaid Zakani poems and storytelling will entertain you. There are sculptures of cats everywhere. And back downstairs, no fewer than 24 resident cats, from Persian to British Shorthair, Russian Blue to domestic short-haired, are waiting to entertain you at the cat party."