For my 16th birthday, I asked for a cat. I was smart enough to know that there was not a chance of getting any of the typical things 16 year-olds ask for, so this was worth a shot. My dad promised that he would make my request happen, but was certain that Jesus would come before any offspring of his managed to actually turn 16. Hmmm, maybe I should have asked for a car! Of course, he had not learned from the past in which he thought the end would come before I started kindergarten, but I digress. I got my cat. I remember when we were in the car on the way home, he clawed himself into my mom’s lap and she looked down at him and said, “do you KNOW who I am?” She claimed hatred of my poor Oreo (guess what colors he was!), but wouldn’t let me take him when I left home for fear of what the move would do to him. Over the recent years, I’ve become more of a dog person, favoring a German Shepherd to anything else, but there’s still a part of my heart that would love to cuddle up with a good book and a purring ball of fluff on my lap.
Enter the cat café. The whole idea of animal cafés seems odd to my American senses. There are dog cafés, cat cafés, and even a sheep café. The idea of having who knows how many cats in a room at the same time as I’m attempting to drink a cup of coffee seemed … well, disgusting. Once the kids heard about these cafés a visit was immediately put on our bucket list. I managed to avoid the trip for almost 2 years, but the time finally came. It was actually, much nicer than I expected it to be, even pleasant. Really. Of course, dragging friends along for the ride didn’t hurt. We chose a café in Myeongdong. When we walked in, the first thing we noticed was the smell. I had expected to be grossed out, but the only smell was the scent of Lysol. That I can handle! Yes, it was weird to drink my coffee with cats (and 1 dog??) wandering around, all over everything, but it was nice too. My youngest, immediately upon entering the café, plunked down on the floor on her stomach and demanded that a kitty give her a kiss. Luckily the cat she chose was the grumpiest cat on earth and didn’t bat an eyelash. My older kids spent all of their money buying tuna and feeding it to the cats. Yes, they (and even WE) had a great time.