You know when doing something out of the ordinary can seem like a good idea at first, until one thing leads to another, and suddenly you've found yourself stuck in an incredibly awkward spot wishing you had just stayed home? Well, that's what happened to this New York City resident, a Reddit user by the name of nightmarecake, when she tried to take her cat along with her for a fun night out in Manhattan with her friends. As nightmarecake explains:
"I have a really tiny apartment, and my first thought when my boyfriend brought home a kitten a few months ago, was to leash train her and take her outside once in a while so that she has a happier life. The thing about cats is, if you don't take them out frequently in their harness, they tend to forget all their training rather quickly.
My friends, boyfriend, and I had an outing planned for the evening, so when my cat saw me getting ready to go out, and hopped expectantly in my giant over-the-shoulder bag and looked at me with her 'I am ready to go out and ogle pigeons' eyes, I thought, 'oh crap, it's been almost 2 weeks... ah I better take her, or I'll have to wait until next weekend.' I slung the cat bag over my shoulder and ran out the apartment to catch the train.
That was mistake number one."
nightmarecake was in a group chat with her friends while riding to meet them on the train when she realized something.
"Suddenly, it hit me. Hannah (real name hidden for privacy purposes) is coming out with us tonight. I didn't know. You see, Hannah has a cat allergy and has specifically told me to 'not bring my cat around her.' I must not have noticed when my friends mentioned in passing that she was coming.
I mentally smack myself and resolve to listen more carefully in the future. Crap. At this point, we are almost to the meeting spot and I'm close to being late. I hate being late. And I'd have to take the train all the way back to the apartment, go up, put the cat down, head back out, and take the train again.
No, I told myself, there's no point. We're going to do what? Hit up a few stores for shopping, and then get bubble tea? No, it's fine, I've got this, I'll just hide my secret cat for a bit until it's time to go home.
That was mistake number two."
Over next two hours, nightmarecake and her friends enjoyed a blur of Uber rides, shopping in the area, and catching up with each other. Her friend Hannah had no clue that there was a cat only inches away from her and didn't sneeze even once. Meanwhile, the secret cat was blissfully snoozing away in the bag, to the point that nightmarecake actually forgot she was even there.
By that point, she and her friends were in a totally different part of the city, and someone proposed that they sit down for a nice meal together, rather than just grabbing bubble tea. Before she knew it, her friends were exclaiming about a trendy restaurant they had walked by and ushered her inside.
nightmarecake sets the scene:
"The place was PACKED. The chairs and tables are so tiny that the bottles and plates can barely fit on top, and they are all crammed together into a quaint little room, so as to the maximize the restaurant's profits while paying astronomical New York City rent. Somehow, a table becomes available right as we come in, so we sit down and a worker asks to take our coats and bags.
As I'm about to hand it over, I look into my purse... and a furry face looks back up at me. I had forgotten about my secret cat. I panic, say something about being cold and wanting to keep my coat and bag and run over to sit at my table.
That was mistake number three."
nightmarecake sat down with her friends at a table and held onto her bag on her lap, hoping the sleeping cat inside would stay quiet throughout the meal. But the bright lights above the table woke the cat up.
"By now, I am seriously panicking. What am I supposed to do? Tell Hannah and the others that all this time, I had a cat with me and that I was dumb enough to bring her to a restaurant? No, I got myself into this mess, and I will get myself out. I start petting the cat, trying to calm her down, but at that moment the waiter came over to take our order. The cat happily starts trying to poke her head out from beneath, to see what's up.
My heart is thudding in my chest, as I gently push the fluffy head back under the table, checking the waiter's face for any sign of having noticed her. I yank a piece of string out of my bag and start to wiggle it in under the table and pet her. She takes this as a sign that I am playing with her and joyfully starts to bite my hand and bite the string. I cringe, but this is working. By the time our food arrives, she is purring and falling back asleep.
It seemed like things were going to be okay. Until I saw a group of waiters walk out of the kitchen together holding a cake - and they started singing."
To nightmarecake's horror, the servers were singing "Happy Birthday" at full volume for someone at another table. She continues:
"The waiters start banging on pots and pans, singing, and ceaselessly dinging one of those little bells, the type that you see in hotel lobbies. They ended up singing"Happy Birthday" twice that night, for two different customers. My hand was basically a distracting chew toy for the cat until she finally fell asleep belly upwards, hugging it.
Finally, somehow, dinner was done and my friends shuffled out the door. Struggling with my bag and coat and trying to hide the cat beneath it all, I slowly followed.
You know how when you're drinking and sitting down, you don't really feel it? And then you stand up and it hits you all at once? I bravely stand up, so happy to be finally out of this nightmare of my own doing.
In the process, I knock over two chairs... and drop the cat straight to the floor. I am in the middle of the restaurant, standing straight as a bolt, clearly just having dropped a cat."
nightmarecake's friends were already outside, but the waiter standing near the door saw the whole thing, and he did not look happy.
"This man was now holding the door for me. As I glance back at him nervously, I realize he is not a waiter at all, that based on his clothing and attitude he is probably the owner of the restaurant. I pick up the chairs, grab my coat, and bolt out the door in about three seconds flat. Animals aren't allowed in food establishments, and I know what I did was probably illegal. I am so scared that I literally run for it.
Today, I believe I am never welcome back at one of my favorite restaurants. I've inadvertently crossed the line to becoming a crazy cat lady. Needless to say, I won't be doing this again. Notice the symptoms early. Don't end up like me."
These are stern words from nightmarecake after a night a panic, embarrassment, and potentially being charged with health code violations for bringing an animal into a food establishment. At the same time, she got a hilarious, adorable story out of her experience - how many people can say they've eaten a fancy dinner at a restaurant while petting a cat on their lap? I suspect that she isn't really 'banned' from the restaurant, either - I'll bet if she went back and explained herself, the owners would understand her struggle and let her off with a warning.
After all, nobody's purr-fect!
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