A Twitter user caused a ker-fluff-le with adorable photos from her lodgings in Hakone, where you can pick a cat to accompany you during your stay.

Most people understand the basic set-up of a cat café – you pay your fee and get to sit in a room with various fluffy feline friends, who largely ignore you until you pay an extra fee for cat treats.

These cafés are a godsend for people like twitter user @mituyasann, a woman who loves cats but can’t keep one at her home. While her Twitter is much like one of any self-professed fan-girl who loves Fate/Grand Order and videogames, she drew a storm of attention recently when she posted a lucky find: a cat café that doubles up as a cat hotel.

“This Saturday I took a trip to Hakone to wash away all the fatigue I piled up working through April.
I stayed in the best place ever – an inn in Yugawara that comes with a (rental) cat! I can’t keep one at home but I adore cats. I was in fountains of tears the whole time.”

She posted plenty of gorgeous photos of her temporary buddy, and described the process of the inn with more detail for her rapidly growing audience.

“So you start at the cat café, where you can point out which cat you’d like to stay with. The second I saw this cute little Tsuchinoko, my mind was made up.”

The Tsuchinoko is a mythological Japanese snake. Pudgy and small, it has an engorged central portion which makes it look even pudgier. That photo really shows off the resemblance!

▼ The ever-relatable and elusive Tsuchinoko

@mituyasann hastened to tell the clerk of her choice, and get the details on her kitty pal.

Clerk: Oh, Kai-kun is the type to leave you alone and entertain himself – of course, if you were to pet him he wouldn’t mind that either.
@mituyasann: That’s my favorite kind of cat!

But how did things work out when she actually moved in with Kai-kun for her stay?

“They said it was likely he would ignore me, but that didn’t happen at all! He climbed on my lap, crept into my futon, and basically acted as hyper as a little kitten. (So…happy…)”

▼ “More from my ‘Cute Pics’ folder…”

Her story had other feline fans caterwauling to know more about this amazing Hakone inn, and so she linked to the establishment – My Cat (written charmingly in hiragana: まいきゃっと, maikyatto) . And with a glowing review like hers, she undoubtedly guaranteed the inn weeks of fully booked rooms in the process.

“I guess I should go ahead and link the place while I’m here, right?! XD XD The rates start from 3,000 yen a night, very attractive! (The cat rental is an added cost.)”

The lodgings’ reservation page comes with a litany of reviews from similarly satisfied customers, who were delighted to have the bonus of a little furry friend to greet them every time they came back to their room. It’s not hard to see why: aside from the obvious attraction, My Cat also offers free parking, free wi-fi and the ability to pay by credit card.

Our helpful Twitter guide signed off by providing some more shots of the tranquil surrounding scenery:

“Obviously this place is the best because you can stay with a cat there! But you can also just open a window and immediately look out on to the ocean, and even smell the sea-salt in the air. It’s a perfect location at this time of year.”

Japanese netizens were understandably bowled over by the sheer volume of cute cat photos, and in true Internet fashion took to discussing the darker ramifications of a rent-able cat.

“Is this what they call…a utopia…?”
“Pick the one you like and take it to your hotel room, huh… That’s a loaded concept.”
“Makes me wonder if the cats have the option to politely decline or escape from clients! I hope they have procedures in place to protect the cats from bad customers. All that said, I still want to go.”
“I went to snoop recently and they do offer adoption programs for the cats. They won’t let you pick cats that are feeling depressed or sick, either. It seems like a healthier set-up than the cat cafes here in Tokyo.”
“I was worried about the kitties too, but the photos make it look like they’re doing fine. The customer is the real problem isn’t it? How do you pick a customer who won’t stress the cats out?”

As a cat lover myself who knows the trials and joys of full-time cat ownership, I know exactly where I’ll be staying next time I’m in Hakone. Thanks for the tip, @mituyasann!

Inn Information
My Cat / まいきゃっと
Address: Kanagawa-ken, Ashigarashimo-gun, Yugawara-cho Fukuura 244-1
Telephone: 0465-43-8651

Source: Esuteru, Twitter/@mituyasann
Featured image: Twitter/@mituyasann
Insert image: Wikimedia Commons/Tobosha