Meow Parlor

In March, the three roommates (myself included) headed to their first cafe. 

Cat Cafe, that is. 


Animal cafes are places where people pay money to eat small cookies, drink coffee and play with animals. These cafes are conveniently organized by species: dog, cat, rabbit, goat etc. They’ve become wildly popular in Japan and the growing fad has brought this phenomenon across the ocean and straight to the Big Apple. 

Roommate Megan found out about the Meow Parlor opening on the Lower East Side and immediately signed us up. There was a one month waiting list. ONE MONTH. So with baited (and not so baited breath) we awaited our chance to get our paws on this exciting trend. IMG_2685

For a mere $4, cat lovers can play for a half hour with the cuddly felines. In the entryway, guests are instructed to remove their coats and shoes before entering the kitty space. Coffee, teas and an assortment of cookies are for sale past the main desk. The air inside was surprisingly warm and dense. Not in a bad or unpleasant way, more like the air in a warm slightly dusty living room housing many…well, cats. 

All the cats in the Meow Parlor are up for adoption. There is a book on the table with a name, picture and de-tail-ed description of each potential adoptee. On the floor and along the back bookshelf, boxes and small cat beds are displayed for the cats to roam around and sleep freely. Megan found an adorable little tabby and gently stroked its head. 

Megan (left) with cat (right)

We stayed, we played and watched the cats. They slept, mostly, unless agitated into playing with the feather on a string or darting past newcomers legs as they walked past. For people who cannot have cats or any animals in their small New York apartments, I saw the appeal of this cat haven. Hopefully each of the fuzzy kitties would be taken to kind and safe homes before the end of their nine lives. Toward the end of the evening, Roommate Daina realized that in fact she was slightly allergic to cats and the three of us had to vacate the premise. 

“I’d love to stay,” Daina said. “But we have to go. Right meow.”

Note the square cat beds, pensive real cat, and pensive cat picture (bottom right)

When your life feels small

[Blogging while watching the Rangers vs. Caps in an attempt to bond with my male co-workers tomorrow morning. Overtime.]

Sometimes the world just feels so big. Last week, I left my office building at lunchtime and walked to the East River to watch the helicopters take off the pier. Traffic whizzed behind me. Couples and tourists alike walked along the boardwalk in the beautiful afternoon sun. But suddenly, my entire life felt so small. 

What was I doing in New York? Did I like my job? Was I with the right guy? Should I leave everything and book a one-way ticket anywhere but here? Did any of it matter?

While on my European adventure, I distinctly remember moments when I felt the strong desire to stop moving. Stay in one place. Breathe. I didn’t want to see anything, talk to anyone or navigate one more new city. At those moments, I would pick a town with a single bedroom and a washer machine where I could clean my clothes and sleep in peace. 

The first time I gave over to my weary feet and found a respite from the road was in Lake Garda, a large beautiful lake in northern Italy. I washed my clothes and hung them in the sunshine before walking to the beach. I proceeded to rent a beach chair and lay on the beach for the vast majority of the day. No churches to see. No strangers to meet. Just me and the sand. 


I find myself in the same position again, aching and sore from my personal journey to find a new “normal” in New York City. I came home from work yesterday and slept 11 hours, as if I’ve never slept before. My body still feels fatigued, possibly fighting a cold, but I can’t help wondering if it’s just a sign my body has been through too much. On the road, it was so easy to take a day off and relax in the Italian sun. I’m still learning how to take a Lake Garda day while the daily chores of life threaten to pull me back into the grind. 

I suppose, my life is small. Maybe none of what I do matters very much in the grand scheme of things. But if this is true–if we are all just little people running around in our own little lives– then there is all the more reason to find the best, kindest people and most beautiful views. Our lives should include many Lake Garda days where we stretch our legs and bask in the light of our small successes and closest loved ones. This life is all we have after all. Shouldn’t we be enjoying it? 


P.S. My birthday was a HUGE success. Terrified I wouldn’t be able to fill a room, almost 50 people came to celebrate with me on my golden birthday. People from Massachusetts, Vermont and my hometown in New York. People I first met in Denmark and a coworker who I’d just met three months before. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I wish I could bottle up and send each of you the joy you gave me by just showing up and saying hi. It meant the world. You keep my little life feeling BIG every day.

Boyfriend Billy presents a cake. (Credit to Zach for sneaky cake purchase)
Some lovely DG sisters