Like many other business across Thailand, the feline "employees" at the Caturday Cafe in the country's capital are back on the schedule. The cats are tasked with the difficult job of laying around and napping. They are ccasionally forced to approach human customers for some snuggles and pats.
Since the closure of nonessential businesses, the affectionate kitties have offered some much-needed respite for Thais who have been primarily confined to their homes for the months of lockdown.
"Earlier, we could not go out anywhere which makes us a bit stressed out. But since we can come to meet the cats, we feel more at ease and relaxed," said regular customer Pantip Keeseeree, who went straight to the cafe as soon as it reopened.
Just like other businesses throughout Thailand and the rest of the world, the cafe has adopted new rules to help limit the spread of the virus. Customers who enter Caturday Cafe are subject to a mandatory temperature check, must wash their hands, and must keep a mask on at all times.
"Actually, the number of customers is nothing like it used to be. Over 50% have decreased for both Thai and foreign customers," said cafe owner Arisa Limpanawongsanon.
The cafe is home to over 50 cats of various breeds. Roughly 35 of them rotate between the cafe and Limpanawongsanon's home. Every day, the cats have a precautionary dry bath, fur brushed, and eyes cleaned.