We went to a raccoon cafe today. No, no one was eating raccoon. I had heard of cat cafes and dog cafes where people in Seoul, S. Korea go to pet cats and dogs, but I had never heard of a raccoon cafe to pet raccoons. The only time I had been anywhere close to a raccoon was once when we went camping in the States. In the night, we heard a noise that woke us up. When we woke up and poked our head out of the tent, there was a raccoon helping himself to our chocolate bars we had brought to make s-mores. I had put them down inside the ice chest thinking they were safe, but they weren’t safe from the raccoons. The raccoon was cute, but I wouldn’t have approached him for anything. I am scared of raccoons, so I was really surprised when we were invited to go to a raccoon cafe today. I was reticent, and wasn’t sure about what I was going to do there.
Before we entered, I explained to my friend who invited us to go there that I was worried because raccoons could be dangerous. They could bite. They could have rabbis, and I couldn’t believe that people were in there petting raccoon! Up over the front door of the place, there was a sign written in Korean that the raccoons had had all their shots, even rabbis shots and were clean and well taken care of. “Okay,” I thought, and we went on in.
When we entered, there were lockers on one side and house shoes on the other. We weren’t supposed to take anything in to the room where the raccoon were because raccoons steal. I could have told you that after finding one eating our chocolate bars. I had to leave my purse, my phone, my earrings, my shoes, and my glasses in the locker. The only thing I could take in with me was the key to my locker. There was a lady at the lockers telling us everything from London. We wondered if she worked there, but she was just trying to be helpful. I felt strange without my glasses, but they said the raccoons would take my glasses off my face because they were metal glasses.
Next, we stood in a line to pay. It cost us each 8,000 won to go in to see the raccoons which is about $8.00 in American money. They put a stamp on our hands in case we wanted to go in and come out again. They also had coffee, cola, lemon lime soda, and different kinds of tea to buy, but we couldn’t take the drinks into the room with the animals. There were tables and chairs where we would sit and drink those if we wanted, but we didn’t want to. The room where the animals were had a big glass wall between the room with the table and chairs and the room where the animals were. We saw raccoons walking around inside as well as large dogs. There were people grooming and petting the animals. There was a double door where we entered, closed the door, and then entered another door to get into where the animals were. They were keeping the animals in for sure.
As we went in, we saw several very fat raccoons who looked much better taken care of than any raccoon I have ever seen. There was a guy sitting in the middle of the floor brushing a big dog. There was a big bull dog. There were people everywhere messing with the raccoons and dogs.
I saw some benches built into the wall, so I just went over there to sit and watch the animals. The moment I sat down, a big cream colored raccoon made a bee line for me. I was freaked out. I hadn’t planned on touching any of them. I got up and walked to the other end of the bench. The raccoon was confused because when it got to where I was, it just stood there, and then it turned around and followed me again to the other end of the bench. It was determined to make friends with me! However, I only wanted to look. I got up again and went to another bench. At first, the raccoon went on about his business, but he didn’t forget me. A little later, he tried again, but I got up again. He just wasn’t going to get me to pick him up or pet him.
My daughter and Hanul, our friend, both had the courage to pet a raccoon. My daughter said the raccoon’s coat may look good because they were well groomed, but they were not soft like cats. One of the dogs decided it liked Hanul and came and sat at her feet and laid its head on her feet.
I just sat and watched enjoying seeing the animals, and wishing that I could feel like reciprocating the raccoon’s attention. He wasn’t scared of human beings at all, but it is going to take some time before I have a good feeling about touching raccoons. It was interesting. The animals were tame, clean, and well taken care of. I was thinking about my sister in America who does animal rescue. This would have been just her cup of tea.