Pee Pee’s Katzencafé

by James Glazebrook

Josie Thaddeus-Johns, creator of When You Live In Berlin, gets her fix of caffeine and cats at Pee Pee’s Katzencafé.


What’s allowed: stroking, cuddling, watching. What’s not: restraining, disturbing from sleep, pulling of tails, flash photography. No, you’re not reading the new list of rules for Berghain, but a guide to what you can and can’t do in Neukölln’s Pee Pee’s Katzencafé.

I hadn’t considered getting my own pet in Berlin for the first six months or so of my new life here. Nevertheless, I was told, by an expat older and wiser than myself: “After you’ve been living in Berlin for a certain amount of time, you’ll just get this urge to get a pet”. And sure enough, I’ve now begun to suffer from this peculiar affliction. I guess when you don’t have that just-off-the-boat pressure to discover a new club every weekend, you have considerably more time for ensuring that an animal other than yourself is fed and cared for.

Luckily, since I live in a fifth floor flat, more immediate help is at hand. Pee Pee’s Katzencafé (despite its unfortunate name) is designed for people like me to get our stroking, cuddling and kitty-watching fix. The place is filled with a number of cat climbing frames for feline entertainment. When I visit, both cats (Pelle and Caruso – brothers!) are curled up on the top of a frame each. They pass my own personal cuteness test with flying colours, but also had to pass slightly more official tests to be sanctioned for public consumption. As did their owner, Andrea, who filled out pages of questions to show that she knew everything there is to know about cat care – yep, German bureaucracy extends to felines too. It’s this bureaucracy that keeps the cats to just two in number – no more are permitted in a space of this size.

Boasting WLAN (I’m telling you this because, as a freelance writer/nomad internet user, it’s the first thing I look for in a café), it’s calm and relaxing, just next to the beautiful Thomashöhe, in the quiet bit of NK between Hermannstrasse and Karl-Marx Strasse. Its coffee (contrary to what Exberliner might say) isn’t up to the scratch of the Neukölln’s more trendy coffee places, but their New York cheesecake (a speciality according to Andrea) could definitely give the rest of the cheesecake brigade a run for their money.

It might not be the trendiest place, but if you’re having one of those days where your mood can only be improved by getting close and personal with a lil furry thing, it seems like a fair deal. #Miaow.

Meet Olive, our French Bulldog puppy

by Zoë Noble

Not content with having two lovely cats here in Berlin, we decided to keep things interesting and throw a new puppy into the mix! Maybe we’re mental, but after moving to another country, where we didn’t know anyone or even speak the language, we thought that looking after a puppy would be <ahem> a walk in the park. We didn’t count on the sleepless nights and constant playing, walking and training that make this pretty much a full time job. But when we look into those big bug eyes our hearts melt, and it’s all worth it.

This wasn’t an easy decision (especially with two cats!) and we only found Olive after six months of searching for a breeder who cared as much about their animals as we did. We first found Chien Royal, whose photos alone are worth checking out even if you don’t feel you can commit to the real thing. Unfortunately they didn’t have any pups left so they recommended Martina at Kleine Franzosen, whose dam had just had a litter. We waited ten weeks until Olive was ready to leave her mum, but thankfully Martina kept me up to speed daily with how she was getting on and posted lots of photos on her Facebook page so I didn’t miss out on her growing up. I really can’t thank her enough for all her help and advice – she’s clearly committed to breeding happy, healthy bullies, and making sure they go to the right homes.

Olive is now settling in really well (she can “sit” already!) and the cats even are adjusting to their new sister . If you fancy keeping up to date with Olive’s adventures, then you can check out her very own Tumblr here.

Iggy and Otis

by Zoë Noble

We’re not ready to show you the new flat as it looks pretty depressing without furniture – but these little fellas seem to be liking it!

iggy and otis