Today, February 22nd, is officially known as neko no hi (‘cat day’) in Japan. Japanese cats say ‘nya’ instead of ‘meow’, and nya kind of sounds like ‘ni’ (being the Japanese word for ‘two’), so that naturally makes the 22nd day of the 2nd month cat day. Makes sense, right? Ni ni ni, nya nya nya…

Today actually was quite a normal day, but yesterday my day was filled with things regarding cats. Last friday I visited the Meetup website for the very first time, and I noticed a group of cat lovers that would meet up a few minutes walk from where I live now, so I decided to join. So yesterday I met with six Japanese people, all complete strangers to eachtoher, but with one thing in common: a great love for cats.

Within a few minutes the ice was broken when everyone was showing pictures of their own cats, my little black cat getting a lot of ‘kawaii~’ (meaning ‘cute’ in Japanese). We then visited a nearby cat festival. There was a small market with stalls selling all kinds of cat-related goods. You could also let someone draw a portrait of your cat or try what it feels like to be a cat yourself by wearing a ridiculously big cat head. There also was a wall of cat-pictures where you could vote for the cutest one. I voted for a black cat that probably didn’t get many other votes, because it looked kind of weird rather than cute.

The festival also had a ‘cat adoption’ section, but there was a 2 hour queue, so we decided to leave. We then visited a bookstore near Jimbocho station that only sells books and magazines about cats (unfortunately all in Japanese). After that we continued our cat-expedition to Akihabara, where we had lunch at a cafe that has a special cat menu. I orderd the ‘cat paw bagel’ and ‘nekokoa’ (neko=cat, kokoa=(hot) chocolate).

I had a great day full of cats (no real ones, though) and it was really nice to meet some random Japanese people with diverse backgrounds. Most of which didn’t really speak English, which forced me to practice some Japanese during my weekend. It made me realize that I definitly learned some Japanese during the past few weeks, but also that I still have a very long way to go…

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