|Sign outside Hello Kitty theme park|
This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me even slightly: I have a “cat-themed” bucket list. What might that be, you ask? Well, it’s a detailed list of all the cat-themed places I want to visit before my demise. Lest you think that would be a really short list, I assure you it isn’t. There are, in fact, so many fabulous feline-inspired things to see worldwide, that I would need to live (at least) several hundred years to cross them all off.
The wildly popular cat-obsessed blog, Catsparella, only contributed to my longing by featuring some purrfect pussycat travel destinations in a series of great posts called Around the World in 80 Cats. Every day for months I salivated worse than Pavlov’s Dog, and sulked that my pink leopard suitcase and I wouldn’t be heading to the airport any time soon. Here are just a few of the feline-themed destinations on my bucket list:
|Hello Kitty boat ride|
It takes a special kind of bravery for a middle-aged woman to admit that she (still) likes Hello Kitty. But I do. And despite the fact that the target audience for Sanrio Puroland is 3-6 year olds, I would go there in a heartbeat, and I would have a wonderful time. Never mind that the reviews on Trip Advisor range from “Every Hello Kitty fan’s dream come true” to “A complete waste of time and money.” Besides, Wikipedia claims that “the park has become one of Japan's most popular attractions.” So there! The park is run by the Sanrio company, creators of Hello Kitty, and features live musicals, restaurants, attractions, parades, fireworks and rides, including an “It’s a Small World” type boat ride. For diehard Kitty fans, the extensive gift shop offerings alone would be worth the trip.
Catskill, New York: Cat n’ Around Festival
Yes, it makes perfect sense that a tiny town called Catskill would find a way to celebrate the divine feline. Every summer since 2007, 40+ fiberglass cats take up residence along Catskill’s Historic Main Street, adding a healthy dose of charm to an already quaint place. The larger-than-life decorative cat statues are handmade by local artists, and each year there is a new, original litter. The kitties are on display from May to September, and then auctioned off to raise money for charity. I became aware of this unique cat-themed travel destination a few years ago after it was featured on the awesome – but alas, short lived – TV show Must Love Cats. I can’t think of a better reason to visit upstate New York, can you?
The Kuching Cat Museum in Malaysia
|Kuching Cat Museum entrance|
The Hemingway Home/Museum in Key West, Florida
|Cat chillaxing at Hemingway Home|
|Cat inside the Hemingway home|
Have you ever been to any of these places?
Hello Kitty photos courtesy of Catsparella
Kuching Cat Museum courtesy of virtualmalaysia.com
Hemingway Home photos by James Willamor
Read more articles by Julia Williams