The flight is booked, the car hire arranged, I know where I will sleep and what activities I will be pursuing. We will be soon off to Hawaii. My childhood dream come true. I should be totally excited about this trip coming up but I am not. There is this constant worry nagging me in the head.
I have a furry friend: his name is Squirrel, but it is not the kind of animal that the name may suggest.
Squirrel is a cat. His name was given to him by his rescuer for his tendency to dig under the fence in order to go places, mostly in order to get inside the rescuer’s garden, where he could find food and shelter. When I adopted this funny creature from his rescuer a few years ago, I decided to keep the name; just as well: after years of living on solid floors, occasionally he still tries to dig.
Squirrel is a lovely companion and despite his loud complaints about change of circumstances he is also rather well travelled for a cat: he has already travelled across the world from his native country Oman to Italy and onto South Korea.
But Squirrel the cat is also a problem right now. In this foreign city where we have been dwelling together for just over a couple of months we need someone to look after him while away. And I have no immediate solution in sight.
The vet around the corner speaks english, which is a great help. I understand that they also offer pet boarding. It sounds great but when I go to check the facilities my heart sinks: I am faced with a few small cubicles of glass that would barely fit his litter tray! There is no way I can shut him in there for a day let alone 10!
I am totally disheartened. With the language barrier I am finding it difficult to find somewhere suitable that is also practical to transport the cat to. My ideal solution would be to find someone who could come home and feed him every day but this is not an option right now.
So I am desperate.
Until I discover Momo that is. Momo Cat Hotel as it turns out, is the best cat hotel in Seoul and the best cat hotel that I could have ever dreamed of.
They come to collect the cat and they deliver it back home at the end of the holiday. I am sold. I book the room for the cat, pay the 30,000 won per day fee and we happily fly out on holiday.
So that’s it? No. Momo Cat Hotel is the best cat boarding because it is not just plain pet boarding. It is a lot more.
As I sip my Mai Tai by the pool in Kauai, on the other side of the international date line from Seoul, I connect to the hotel’s wifi. I immediately receive a KakaoTalk message: this is a daily link to a diary from Momo cat hotel.
We have daily picture updates of our cat and a little diary that always ends with “Squirrel is doing well and healthy” and so I can see.
The diary is all in Korean which means that I get to practice my basic language skills but even without reading the pictures talk for themselves.
From my phone I can also connect to a video camera that for 24hrs every day looks right into my cat’s personal suite: it is brilliant.
From the photos and the live camera I can tell that the cat accommodation deal is better than ours: forget the Marriott, he gets a large private room with private en-suite toilet, a choice of more than one bed, window looking out onto some busy outdoor area with people passing by, blankets, cushions, rattan baskets and scratching posts. The whole hotel looks clean and welcoming, it is covered in wood and it looks like the interior of a stylish scandinavian home.
From the diary updates I discover that he also gets to go out to the main area of the hotel where under supervision he gets to meet other cats and even indulges in cat-nip parties.
He gets fed gourmet cat food and supplements and from the photos and CCTV it looks to me that he’s having the time of his life. For a moment I worry that he may be enjoying his holiday too much and may not like coming back home.
When we return from our holiday our lovely furry friend is delivered to our apartment on the agreed date and time.
Totally reliable Korean efficiency!
He is calm and relaxed as he’s never been when coming out of that cat carrier.
The butler from Momo Cat hotel thanks me and offers me a last unexpected gift in the form of a little envelope. “Photos” he says. There I find 5 small printed photos from our cat’s holiday.
Yes Momo Cat Hotel is the best cat hotel in Seoul. Now I wish I was a cat.
How to find them:
Momo Cat Hotel: http://cafe.naver.com/momohotel.cafe
You need to speak Korean to communicate with the hotel but after I called they got someone to call me back who speaks both English and Korean and they helped me. After that I managed to work things out in my broken Korean.
When you book you will need to provide the following information about your cat:
- name of the cat
- sex (male/female)
- general health status (details of any surgery, or special conditions)
- type of litter he normally uses (clumping or any other type)
- Your address and date & time for pick up/drop off
- You will need to confirm your room with a 10% deposit which will have to be paid into a bank account.
The pick up and drop-off service has a fee but it is totally worth it. If you book a stay of 10 days or over you get one way pick up for free.
They are very professional and they really know how to deal with cats. I highly recommend them.