It was never my intention to visit a cat cafe. In fact, I had absolutely no interest in visiting one. Mainly because I was traumatised by a bad cat experience when I was young – my parents love to have that story retold to people over and over again. It has taken me this long to even voluntarily stroke a cat.
One does not account for a very persuasive cousin though. She had wanted to visit one but as the guide bringing her around Seoul, I had the final say over her itinerary. So, cat cafe was out. I just told her that it was not guaranteed.
I was mean, right?
Well, they say karma bites. Indeed, as fate would have it, it seemed almost like serendipity that I would have ended up there after all.
Shopping around Hongdae area, I almost walked past the sign and almost, almost, ignored it. For the sake of loyalty though, I very reluctantly pointed it out to my cousin and asked the dreaded question, “Do you want to drop in to take a look?”. It was such an obvious question.
So I ended up trudging up the stairs to a small shop and was greeted with the joyful sight of cats everywhere. How cattlicious!
The shop helpers were familiar with foreigners, it would seem. With no words spoken, we had our belongings kept away in bags, hands sanitised, made to read the rules (in English) and paid for a drink. No entrance fee but you have to buy a drink. It only cost about $8 so I suppose it’s not much since you get to play with the cats for however long you wished to.
The cats came in all shapes and sizes, even kittens. And okay, they were pretty cute….VERY CUTE.
Friendliness, though, depends on the cat as they all had different personalities. Some ran away when approached and more just laid down and slept. That, I can understand. I also would have wanted to just lie down and sleep if that’s all there is for me to do the whole day. Oh, the life of a cat…
But hey, I’m happy enough that they did not cuddle because I have not worked myself up to that stage yet. My cousin was a bit disappointed but she did manage to get some cuddles by the time we left. Patience is required for them to trust you, I suppose.
At the end of the day, I’m happy enough that I can strike this off my list. I have visited a cat cafe in Seoul. It’s definitely a great idea for those who cannot afford to keep cats as pets but it is just not for me.
A cat lover, I am not and never will be. I can still appreciate their cuteness though because they were. Just adorable. 🙂
For those interested, I visited Tom’s Cat Cafe in Hongdae area. Since this was a random walk-by, I can probably telepathically think out the directions to tell you. Otherwise, it is a bit hard for me to describe in words other than – it’s opposite that building with a shop (it’s called Art Box, I think) and is on the 3rd floor along the same street of the Hongdae playground. Alternatively, you can also choose to trust online reviews which says that they have moved or gone out of business. You can refer to this page for alternatives though.
Update: Tom’s Cat Cafe at Hongdae has apparently closed or moved according to readers who visited in Spring this year. Please do just enjoy the cats in this post instead! 🙂
Have you encountered such shops in your travels? Is there any other unique shops that you’ve visited before? Please do share!