Well folks, if I die tomorrow, I can die happy! In fact, I experienced so many precious critters that I almost did die—of cuteness overload. (I bet if you check the internet, that’s a real thing.)
That’s right, you read the title correctly, I visited the Meerkat Café on my first weekend in Seoul (because…PRIORITIES!). It was everything it sounds like it would be but MORE because not only did they have lots of cute meerkats, but also a raccoon, foxes, wallabies, genets, and some exotic cats. I know it seems too good to be true that there is in fact a magical place where for just about $10 you can sit with, pet, feed, and interact with all of these amazing animals.
Over the years, I’ve been to my share of animal cafes/restaurants, and they are not all created equally. Sometimes I leave feeling guilty, seeing that the animals are being exploited and don’t seem well cared for. I never advertise or promote those places. Luckily though, the Meerkat Café in Seoul was not one of those places! It was very clean, the staff was plentiful and friendly (to the animals and the customers), and it was clear that the animals’ safety and wellbeing were the number one priority. In fact I didn’t get to visit with all of the animals because the foxes were “on break” during the time I was there. I imagine not all of the animals can be out at the same time considering they are on different levels of the food chain. I doubt that animals slaughtering other animals would be good for business. Yikes!
If you choose to interact with the meerkats, you wait for a turn to enter their area where you sit on the floor with a blanket on your lap, and they run around and climb on you and stuff—unless you’re me. Apparently I’m either the most boring person in the world or a meerkat whisperer, because while the others were climbing around on people, I had two just crawl into my lap and fall asleep! It was really adorable though!
While not swooning over my new meerkat friends, I walked around and fed the raccoon. (I just couldn’t get enough of his little hands!!) I also fed some snacks to the two little wallabies, who just bounced around the room in search of more treats and general attention, which was in no way lacking. If you looked around hard enough you could find the exotic cats—doing what cats do, which was sleep and ignore people. They were beautiful and soft though. There were also two genets in cages which were also ‘on break’ while we were there. I was sad that I didn’t get to see them awake because it was an animal I had never heard of before, it wasn’t like a dog, not like a cat…it was long and small…maybe a marmot? (I obviously have no idea, which is why I wanted to see it so badly!) They were sleeping under blankets in little hammocks like my ferrets used to do—very precious.
I think the Meerkat Café should claim the title of ‘the Happiest Place on Earth’….not Disney. I mean it only cost $10 to go to the Meerkat Café, they don’t allow little kids, and they have lots of cute animals….oh, and coffee! I’d say it was the best critter café that I’ve experienced, and I didn’t even get to hang out with all of the animals this time. I guess that means that I’ll have to go back (I mean, for a thorough review of course). Not that I’ll mind revisiting my version of ‘The Happiest Place’ on Earth!'