Hayley Matthews: Stress getting you down? Here’s a purr-fect remedy

Maison de Moggy is a real stress-buster. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Maison de Moggy is a real stress-buster. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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I’ve recently been dealing with stress and anxiety, which has not been pleasant. If you’re lucky and made of titanium, then great. If not, you’ll appreciate the deep churning wheel of fear and a head that feels like it’s in a constant bad dream. Not pleasant.

Always one for finding a solution (and I realise this isn’t an overnight fix) I’ve taken it upon myself to research. I’ve taken a Heal Your Life course with the lovely Miro who gave me great advice.

“Do what you enjoy” he said. Sounds simple but how many of us just do things we enjoy, for enjoyment’s sake.

I find it hard to be selfish, being a parent and a partner, always looking to please others. However, if you don’t look after numero uno then what use are you to anyone?

So taking on Miro’s advice and being an animal lover, I researched the benefits of lowering stress with animals. Animal contact actually lowers stress and stroking a cat can be very relaxing for both you and the cat. Bingo, Maison de Moggy it was then. Now I appreciate sitting having coffee and cake while furry cata purr beside you, demanding attention by swishing their tails in your face while you negotiate coffee cup to mouth manoeuvres isn’t everyone’s idea of relaxation. But if like me, you’re a cat person, it’s heaven!

The cat cafe is all about the cats. There are strict rules. Most importantly, respect the cat, no lifting, no annoying the cats and no letting them eat cake – and trust me, they will try.

My friend Kate was sitting with lavender and lemon cake on her lap when Guillaume the grey chinchilla Persian (named after Shakespeare) took an incredibly swift swipe at the bowl, with a look that made us think we’d stolen his lunch.

The cats all have their own personality and they are wide and varied. From Marcel the Bengal and Pierre the gorgeous blue pointed ragdoll to Elodie the Sphyn and Coco Carbonelle (that’s my naughty dancer’s name in my next life) they all lure you in to their world of a relaxed laidback way of life in this little corner of the West Port.

There was one cat that I took a shine to, Sebastian, the ginger British short hair. The way he walked about the place was so regal. I said to Kate, if he was human he would be wearing pink chinos, a tweed jacket and moccasins, smoking a pipe and waiting on his horse. I was relaxed and happy. Stress? what stress, I thought as I played with the cat toys, watched them jump in the air and snuggled up to the sphynx.

Claire the manager told me that to facilitate visits from people with invisible disabilities and help with independence, they are signing up to Neatebox, which helps customer service teams provide a five-star level of service to any person with a disability on entry to their store. You can check out their website at https://neatebox.com Support workers get free entry to Moggy HQ Monday to Friday.

If you’re looking to roll about the floor with cats galore just for fun or maybe you can’t have your own pet at home, then Maison De Moggy is perfect for you. If, however, venturing further up the road to the Western Bar is more your thing and you hear of a chick called Coco Carbonelle, swinging from a pole shaking her tassels, honest it’s just sheer coincidence!

Hayley Matthews – @hotlipshayley – is a TV and radio presenter