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Pet Service Hotel
Price: 2500 yen
When we take longer vacations, our tabby cat, Bubba, always tries to make the case that he can stay at home alone if we just leave out enough cat food. This is only because he doesn’t like the cat carrier. We both know he’d get lonely and his litter box would get dirty and he’d be miserable. A fact that becomes blatantly obvious anytime I have even a short day trip away. I am always greeted when I come home by an old orange tabby cat, crankily croaking at me about the injustice of missing the attention he believes he is entitled to on a regular basis.
Thus, for longer trips Bubba suffers the small injustice of a short taxi ride in a carrier to stay at Pet Service in the Kita ward of Nagoya. Pet Service offers hotel services for small pets. At around 25USD a day, Bubba is allotted an enclosure that gives him about 2 square meters of space (more than sufficient for an older lazy neko). I provide his food, a bed, a toy and a litter box, and Pet Services provides a friendly staff who keep an eye on him while keeping the little old man company.
My only complaint is that I know all of this from hear-say - dropping Bubba off I am only granted access to a very small waiting area. The hotel is past a door marked “staff only” and as with most Japanese rules, no exceptions are granted even for a pet parent who just wants a quick peek at the space her cat’s going to stay in for the next week. It's a bit tucked away on a side street, and these two things coupled make dropping Bubba off occasionally feel a little "back alley deal"-ish. Still, I am thankful for their patience to work with a foreigner’s limited Japanese skills, and to keep my kitty safe.
P.S. It is worth noting that Pet Service also offers a “puppy rental” service, where you can borrow a pooch for the day. I haven’t used it, but it’s too adorable a service to not at least mention.