Meokbang featuring stray cats become the trend in South Korea
Meokbang broadcasts are a popular trend in South Korea with people coming online to watch people eat a variety of food. But humans may be losing their viewers to cats soon.
Despite that the live stream may be clear of cats for hours, the minute stray cats approach the bowls of food laid out for them, viewers become wooed by the kitties.
Some avid viewers have claimed to have given up watching dramas, online news and even stopped playing mobile games just to tune in and watch these kitties eat. Another revealed that instead of smoking at work due to stress, watching the cats eat their food has given him a piece of mind.
According to SFGate, the “cat meokbang” was created by accident. Goo Eun Je found a stray cat outside while visiting his mother-in-law whose home resided out in a mountainous village. Putting out leftover fish for it, the stray cat returned the next day for more food and soon, more stray cats joined the fray. And so, a surveillance camera and streaming on Popkon TV was set up so that Goo Eun Je and his wife could monitor them online only to find that additional viewers were tuning in as well.
In the last four months, there has been a recorded 110,000 South Korean viewers on average per month with at least 10,000 have bookmarked the channel. As the channel became popular, viewers began sending him virtual cash and have donated food and other donations to help in not only his living expenses but to help feed the cats.
The positive reaction that this cat meokbang has received has greatly boost the image of stray cats in South Korea who are known as “thief cats” as it is the belief that they are untrustworthy animals who survive by stealing foods from human and scavenge through the trash.