Growing up, I was a pretty shy child. I was quiet, didn’t speak out, and while I always had good friends, I also always needed a lot of alone time. Fortunately, I wasn’t really alone because there were always pets in the house, at least one but often more at any given time.
Between my brothers and myself we’ve had dogs, cats, snakes, hamsters, and fish.The first pet I remember was an orange cat named Spanky. I loved him so much, but the first pet I called my very own was a hamster. I insisted on naming her Magical Princess. (Cut me some slack, I was 4.)
Going away to university was my first taste of life without a pet. My roommates and I would always talk about getting a cat, but thankfully, we never actually got one. We could barely take care of ourselves; how would we manage to take care of an animal? Our apartment was messy enough as it was.
These days, I live alone. Alone alone. No roommates and no furry (or not so furry) friends. I’m not going to lie, sometimes it’s hard. There are few things better than cuddling with a cat or a pup in bed. It’s calming and reassuring having someone around 24/7, and I always view my pets as extended family. I did toy with the idea of getting a cat here in Korea, but ultimately decided against it. My studio is pretty cramped as is, and the 15+ hour trip home plus potential months of quarantine is simply too unfair for a pet to endure.
I know it sounds silly, but growing up with pets around and then suddenly not having them is uncomfortable and strange. And since I can’t have a pet of my own, I’ve resorted to visiting any establishment that has a resident pet. My favorite place currently is an English Cafe in downtown Daegu. The owner is a lovely woman who has two precious kitties, Choco and Ouyou (Chocolate and Milk). As you can imagine, one is black and one is white. I die for them.