13 January 2016

Cat cafés and the butterfly house

Starting off the new year with my birthday! Over the past few years I've been spending my birthday either on the plane back from ALA, sleeping because of ALA, or getting right back into the start of a new quarter. This year I've had to do none of those, so I was able to have a very beautiful, very loving day with a few people I care about very much.

I say "beautiful" in the way it made me feel, because the day itself was very gloomy, windy, a bit rainy, and cold haha! The curse of having a January birthday in Seattle. Oh well! I went to Seattle Meowtropolitan with Daniel down in Wallingford, the first and only cat café in greater Seattle. For those who've yet to visit, this café allows both reservations and walk-ins for the cat room with a $10 entry fee (comes with a free drink!). The room is separate from the café itself, for sanitary reasons and currently there's a maximum of 15 guests per hourly reservation.

 What I love most about Seattle Meowtropolitan is that they've partnered with the Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) shelter -- meaning that several cats hosted at the café are available for adoption. I feel like this is a great way to feature perfectly loving and friendly cats needing forever homes, and I hope this trend takes off in the Seattle area.

A lot of their desserts are cat-themed, so we had to buy some to try! This one was super delicious and cute. ♥
Light poured into the cat room from huge windows, making it feel very spacious and inviting. All of the furniture and fixtures allowed the cats to roam about freely while guests sat or walked around. There were toys everywhere too!
Daniel and I sat in the corner next to this sleepyhead, mostly because of their cute cone of shame... I didn't catch the name of this one, but they were very calm and soft, haha!
little beans!
The room was fairly quiet, with soft conversations humming all around. Everyone during our session lit up seeing all of the cats, being pulled in different directions and huddling up together. It's the same feeling as when our school hosted therapy dog days during finals weeks -- the atmosphere completely changes when people are surrounded by calm animals, and everything feels so soothing.
This one in particular did not bat an eye when everyone came in! They lazed about as usual!
Some were more cat-like than others, and weren't amused when Daniel tried to play with them LOL!
This one instantly captured our hearts, and I admit we played favorites with her for the rest of the session. I believe her name is Nova, a permanent resident of the café. 
so photogenic!
Eventually Nova clamored onto my lap and stayed there for a good while, giving me nose kisses on my chin and nose every now and then. I fell in love so many times ♥ (don't tell Nibbles, haha!) She also really liked Daniel's hand, and wouldn't stop licking it. LOL! 
We moved around the room playing with all the different cats, eventually ending back up in our corner to finish our coffee and desserts.
Nova stopped by again! This time to sit in Daniel's lap.
A good kitty handshake.
This is Pink, a very majestic and mellow 10-year old male. He's also one of the seven "knights of Meowtropolitan," who've taken up a permanent residence in the café. I thoroughly enjoyed taking his photos. ♥
Pink enjoyed roaming about the room spectating, letting the younger cats play with guests.
There are many areas for the cats to rest if they get tired or sleepy, and since we came at noon everyone was still fairly mellow from napping.
After we left, this one finally sat up! hahaha. The cone was too cute.
All in all, our experience here was exactly what we'd hoped it'd be and more. I only wish the sessions were longer ♥. I have nothing but good wishes for the success of Seattle Meowtropolitan, and I'll definitely be back again with all of my friends.

We still had a lot of time to kill before our dinner tonight, so Daniel took me to the Pacific Science Center. I used to walk around the outside areas after class to unwind, whether in the daytime or nighttime before heading back home on a long commute. I was really happy to be able to go during my birthday ;o;.

Even though I've been to the Pacific Science Center countless times, I feel like the people you go with always bring a new experience to it. There's always something new to learn haha!

My favorite exhibit has always been the Butterfly House, as you can see from the amount of pictures I took when we were in there! hahaha.
Forgive me if I misname/misidentify any of the butterflies below, I'm trying to learn as many as I can! Feel free to make any corrections as well.
Scarlet Peacock Butterfly
Tiger Longwings stopped by to visit very frequently on the leaves nearby. I took a lot of pictures of them :)
Tawny Owl Butterfly
A few facts Daniel mentioned about this butterfly is that not only do their huge eyespots resemble tawny owls' eyes, but the upper patterns also resemble a snake's head. You can see it in this photo above -- so cool!! 
I'm not sure about the name of this one ;-;
Leopard Lacewing
Tiger Longwings again! ♥
Clipper Butterfly
Paper Kite Butterfly
Just outside the exit to the Butterfly House is a room with a large mirrorwall, to make sure there aren't any butterflies still on you when you leave!

Afterwards we walked around the exhibits a bit more, and headed outside.
While we were leaving, Daniel told me about one of the most impressionable conversations he had while working here. He was told that the most important thing about teaching kids (and anyone in general) is not to spout out facts and tell them what to know, but to guide them to find the answers for themselves. For those you want to teach, encourage them to seek knowledge and never stop wondering. I thought about my favorite teachers in school when he said that, and how they always made me think for myself -- they never gave me the answer right away, and, though embarrassing, allowed me to learn from my mistakes and guided me to figure things out through trial and error. Next to our parents, teachers really are our most formulative influences growing up, and it's amazing just how much of their presence and wisdom shapes how we learn and treat learning as adults. 

Close friends of mine (and if you've been around my blog long enough...) already know that my favorite things to visit in new cities are 1) aquariums 2) planetariums/observatories 3) museums in general, and I have several teachers throughout my education to thank for that fascination. It's my sincerest wish that field trips to places like the Pacific Science Center remain an integral opportunity for primary and secondary students.

I think I've rambled enough for this post, woops! Anyways... We had dinner with my mom at The Grill from Ipanema, a Brazillian BBQ restaurant playfully named after one of my favorite songs, and ate so much food! It was such a fun dinner. ♥__♥ So fun in fact that I didn't take any photos... which I immensely regret because who knows when I'll ever be able to eat there again ;__; oh well. Sometimes you just have to enjoy the moment. Thank you to everyone for the heartfelt birthday wishes, and for making the beginning of 2016 so full of love and warm feelings!

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