Quin's Progress


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Equal Time For Dog Lovers…Sort Of

"Godabang" is a cat café chain

“Godabang” is a cat café chain

A couple weeks ago, I posted about a wonderful kitty café that I happened upon in Gyeongju, South Korea, where you can enjoy the fuzzy affections of a bevy of feline gigolos with your coffee.  I have found a few more since then; they are apparently very popular with city dwellers who can’t have pets in their homes.  There are even cat café chains, with locations all over.  But, not everyone loves the kittenzes as much as I do.  What about them?  Well, fear not, there are puppy cafés, too.

I found one in the Jangsan neighborhood of Haeundae Beach, in Busan.  I want to call it a Puppy Pub, or a Dawg Dive, but the establishment–on the second floor, over a pet store–only served foo-foo coffees and teas.  I don’t know why, but it seems to me that a venue catering to dog people should have a liquor license.  Beer and wine, at least.  Maybe it’s just me.  Anyway, no booze at this Canine Café.

The Canine Café. See the glass partition?

The Canine Café.
See the glass partition?

Right off the bat, I noticed a fundamental difference between this outfit and the cat cafés: the dogs are in a pen, separate from the café area.  It’s right next to it, but it’s divided by a low, transparent wall so the hounds can’t get to the people at the tables.  The front foyer gate opens into the puppy playpen, and that is where the coffee counter is, but the seating area is behind glass.  I didn’t like that.  I wanted to drink my coffee while I played with the pups.  But, then I learned why.  They pee.  They pee often.  They pee a lot.  Oh, so much pee….

cockerThere was an attendant who ran around behind them and cleaned it up as close to immediately as one could expect, so it didn’t really smell in there, but still, not appropriate for a food service area.  Cats prefer to retire to the privacy of a litter box to tinkle, so the cat café people can just put a little cat flap in the door to the litter box room, and trust the pusses to honor the system.  Dogs, not so much.  Not a bashful bladder in the group.  So, okay, I get it. They have to separate the room.

"I don't see you"

“I don’t see you”

The eight or nine pooches in the play area were all immaculately groomed, healthy-looking, and pretty well-behaved, but for the recidivist peeing (which, I guess, we can’t really blame on them.  It’s not like there was a dog door to a back yard where they could go outside).  But, there was something odd about them.  It took me a while to figure it out.  Then, it hit me.  They were ignoring me.

"Got any food?  No?  Okay, bye."

“Got any food? No? Okay, bye.”

Basically, except for one little cocoa-colored poodle who managed to feign interest in me for the minute or so it took to ascertain whether I had any food to give him, none of these dogs paid any attention to me at all.

"Is someone better coming?"

“Is someone better coming?”

They pretty much sat with their backs to me, or stood at the gate, waiting for someone better to come along (translation: someone with food).  I know what you’re thinking:  just give them some treats, and they’re yours.  Well, I thought of that, but the place specifically forbids feeding the dogs.  I can see why they wouldn’t allow people to bring their own food to give them; they couldn’t control the safety of what the dogs eat that way.  But, if they’re going to have such stuck up pups, they really should make some kind of treats/bribes available for purchase.  Baby carrots, or something healthy, so they don’t founder.  I dunno.  Something.

saint bernieIt was the darndest thing.  I can’t remember the last time I was around a dog that didn’t make a total nuisance of itself, jumping on me, licking my hands, staring intently at me while I’m reading or watching tv, or trying to stick its snout in my crotch.  They normally exhibit an extravagant enthusiasm level at my arrival that one just can’t expect from a cat.  I was at a total loss.  (Maybe they heard what I said about them being the easy girls of the animal high school….Which one of you blabbed?)

I sat there, trying in vain to entice a gorgeous, snow white Akita to come to me, my lame tongue clicking noises impotent against her indifference.  I recalled the cat café, and how surprised I had been at how attentive and affectionate all the kitties were with me at first glance.  Obsequious, almost.  Where the heck had I landed that cats are the attention-seeking trollops, and dogs are haughty and aloof?  I have really fallen down the rabbit hole!  Ooh…rabbits.  Now, there’s a great idea for a café!  A bunny bar!  Who’s in?


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Pussy Galore

[Don’t worry, guys, I’m not writing about girl parts again.  You can safely read on.]

IMG_5452I was walking down a dubious looking street in Gyeongju today, when I happened upon this sign.  I still can’t read Korean–it all looks like spiders on ice skates and Spaghetti O’s to me–but those kitty cartoons and the prices caught my attention.  A lot of the restaurants here use signs like this to promote their menu items, with cutesy cartoons of the animals whose meat they serve, instead of pictures of the dishes.  And I know there are some places in Korea that serve a dog meat stew, so, my heart verily stopped at the possibility that this sign was for a restaurant serving kitty cat fricassee.

IMG_5419Out of morbid curiosity, I peeked through the doorway to see if I could get confirmation one way or the other, and I saw this pink plaque on the stairway for “Cat Cafe Cat Town” on the second floor.  Hmm…the name doesn’t reveal enough.  The beef restaurant across the street was called “Beef House Korean Beef Restaurant,” so this could totally still be a cat restaurant.  Just to make sure, I went up the stairs, and opened the door to find….

Cat Café!

Cat Café!

P1040348An actual cat café!  As in, a café where you have your coffee with a bunch of cats.  Kitties everywhere!  Hundreds of them!  Well, okay, not hundreds, but at least 30.

P1040326Abyssinians, Bengals, Persians, Siamese, Russian Blues, they had them all.  Fat kitties, svelte kitties, boy kitties, girl kitties, longhaired kitties, short haired kitties, kitties, kitties, kitties of every kind!

Hello Kitty!

These were some of the sweetest, most affectionate kitties I’ve ever encountered, too.  I am a cat person, so I know the value of kitty love.  Cats don’t hand it out indiscriminately, like dogs do.  Dogs are very emotionally slutty, but cats–especially well-fed cats, like these–don’t generally bestow their purry gifts on just anyone.  [Now, don’t be sending me hate mail, dog people.  I love dogs, too.  I just calls it like I sees it, and you know I’m right–dogs are the easy girls of the animal high school.  Nothing wrong with that.]

P1040345P1040338But these babies were so friendly and curious, they just hopped up next to me and started going through my purse as soon as I came in and sat down.  Everyone had to have a sniff through my bag, and then sit in it for a while.

IMG_5447

Getting some good kitty love

Getting some good kitty love

This little Abyssinian guy was so pushy, he crawled up my arm, burrowed through my hair, and settled in on my shoulder to purr in my ear.  Oh, that is my favorite sound in the whole world!  That is the sound of contentment, right there.  I was in heaven.

P1040318This sweet little Russian Blue kitty threw himself into my arms and snuggled in with his belly up to be rubbed.  There was a Himalayan girl kitty on my lap, and the Abyssinian on my shoulder…I was in the middle of a kitty cat three-way love fest, and I couldn’t have been happier.

P1040319

“You fool,” she seems to be saying.

That’s when it hit me.  They were hustling me, those kitties were.  I was in a kitty cat hostess bar!  A feline “room salon,” as it were.  It was their job to act all cute, and purr and rub on me, and tease me with the promise of their rare kitty love, just to get me to stay longer and order more coffee at 7,000 Won a pop (that’s roughly $7 USD).  Those wiley minxes.  Well…I’ll still take it.  I do have my needs, after all.