I think we all know whose turf it really is.

Earlier last week, Twitter user @Miki168uw was strolling through Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district when she stumbled upon a peculiar sight. While Tokyo is unquestionably home to a variety of strange scenes, the sight that greeted her in front of Smokers Cafe Sabatora was more heartwarming than bizarre. Although she was distracted by the gorgeous cat sitting calmly near the business’ door, her eyes were more drawn to a sign positioned right next to the furry feline:

▼ “There’s a kitty in front of the shop ( ˙꒳​˙ )

Obstruction of business!”


The sign on the door goes on to say:

“In the event that there is a neighborhood cat in front of this door interfering with our business, please open the door slooowly and it will move out of the way.

No matter how much it’s in the way, the cat is always innocent.”

The timing of the cat by the sign was just too perfect, and it appears that almost 90,000 other Twitter users were also tickled by the scene.

As it turns out, this particular cafe has even more of a connection to cats than it may initially seem. First, the “Sabatora” part of its name means “silver tabby” in Japanese (saba being the Japanese word for “mackerel,” as the markings resemble that of the fish).

▼ Even the cafe’s logo features the silhouette of a cat cleverly blending into the “S” of “Smokers.”

Second, the cafe has partnered with the non-profit organization Tokyo Cat’s Eye to foster and nurse rescue cats back to health. While there may or may not be a rescue cat on the premises at any given time, the cafe’s website states that when there is one on site, the cat is at the top of the cafe hierarchy.

The cat that @Miki168uw snapped a photo of is not a rescue but a local cat jointly taken care of by various neighbors. If you want to see if you can recreate the scene of a cat in front of the sign yourself, try swinging by Smokers Cafe Sabatora at the address provided below.

Restaurant information
Smokers Cafe Sabatora / スモーカーズ カフェ さばとら
Address:  Tokyo, Toshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 3-15-5 1st floor
東京都豊島区東池袋 3-15-5 1F
Open: 11 am-8 pm (last order at 7:30 pm)
Closed: Tuesdays

Source, featured image: Twitter/@Miki168uw
Insert image: Smokers Cafe Sabatora