Yangseuni, originally a cat with an owner, now lives it up in a parking lot in Seoul
thanks to the valet parking staff that feeds her well. Here she is sleeping on a customer's car during the winter as the engine has made the surface warm.
Cats (고양이) in Korea are not as popular as those in the west. A large number of Koreans consider cats to be scary due to the appearance of their eyes. Part of the reason for this is that most cats in Korea are strays and do not like humans, and there are also a large number of legends and myths featuring cats as villains. Recently however more and more people have been developing an affinity towards the animals, and people in their 20s will often either be indifferent to cats, or like them a great deal.
Note that the word for cat (고양이 or koyangi) sounds similar to the word 고향 (hometown) which when followed by the particle 이 is pronounced almost exactly the same. Be sure when saying such things as 고양이가 있어요 (I have a cat) that it does not sound like 고향이 있어요 (I have a hometown) - generally the best way to avoid misunderstanding is to make sure to specify the number of cats: 고양이가 한 마리 있어요 (I have one cat).
Popular cat names
As in the west, cats are given only one name and generally a short or cute one.
- 양순이 (yangsuni)
- 푸씨 (pusshi)
- 치치 (chichi)
- 미미 (mimi)