We've already got a cat running for U.S. Senate. Why not give felines a place to recreate, not just legislate, in the District?

DCist's Martin Austermuhle brings news that while overseeing the reopening of a dog park in D.C. on Thursday, Mayor Vincent Gray, quite likely facetiously, raised the possibility of cats getting their own play areas in the nation's capital:

"I'm not a dog owner anymore," Gray admitted in remarks at the ceremony. "I used to have two dogs. They now have gone on. But I do have a cat, and we have no cat parks...yet."

Cat parks!

Austermuhle sounds dubious:

[E]very now and then I see a cat-owner towing around their feline friend on a leash. The cats rarely look happy to be outside, much less being walked around on a leash.

But cat parks wouldn't have to be outside. Conceivably, Japanese-style cat cafes -- basically indoor cat petting zoos, with coffee -- could work in the District. This idea has already spread to Austria. A BYOK (bring your own kitteh) version, Meow Mix Café, popped-up in New York eight years ago. Why not have indoor cat play spaces in D.C., too?

And we already have precedent for cats who enjoy a sociable stroll. Recall Harold the cat, who happily struts around Old Town Alexandria.

In short: Cat parks, not the Mayor's worst (facetious) idea?

Quick Poll

Are cat parks a good idea?


Let's revisit Old Town Alexandria's Harold the cat and his people, Sarah Howell and her husband Jeff Jones:

Do You Like Old Town?
1  of  8
Howell: It's nicer. A lot of people know us.

[Harold] sits in our window all day and meows at everybody who walks by. We were just sitting outside of our house one day and this lady parked her car, got out of the car, ran across the street, and goes, "I have to tell you, I hate cats. And I love your cat so much."

I had a client one time telling me all about him. She's like, "There's this cat in Old Town and he sits in the window and he's so friendly and he talks to everybody." I was like, "Is it a black and white cat? That's mine."

Related on HuffPost: Japan's kitty cafes offer a unique way to relax after work for cat lovers.