Cat cafes have been sweeping across the country and are now a popular hangout spot for those who love kitties but don't have enough time in their lives for a pet.
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While normally the experience is full of smiles and kitty cuddles, a Toronto cat cafe is now being called out for discriminating against someone with a disability. A 16-year old boy who lives with a neurodegenerative disorder went to Meow Cat Café for his birthday.
The cafe on Mount Pleasant Rd. said that they were allowed to deny the boy's entry because it's their right to protect their cats to Global News. Apparently, a previous incident with a wheelchair had left a cat injured.
Erica Yun, the owner of Meow Cat Cafe, also told Global News that while she understands why the policy would make people upset, the cats that live in the cafe are her priority.
According to the boy's aunt, who was taking him for his birthday trip, Yun had said she had a special permit from the government to allow this. Yun denied these claims but did say that police had told her it was a perfectly acceptable policy.
The aunt still stated that this is simply discrimination and that while her nephew may face challenges, he deserves a birthday treat just like anyone else.
Toronto's Accessibility Design Guidelines insist that no matter what refusing service of this kind is unacceptable.
The guideline reads in section 2.5.3., "Cafeterias, restaurants, cafés, bars, and/or other areas providing food or beverage services, should be accessible to persons with varying disabilities, including persons using mobility aids."
While Yun did offer that the 16-year old come inside without the wheelchair, the family refused the option due to his dependence on the device.
Source: Global News