Imaginary Cat: Episode 3
Now that’s one grumpy cat. She may put up with her human who snuggles with her on occasion, but now there’s another girl who wants Jong-hyun’s attention. If that weren’t bad enough already, that same girl wants to shower her with love. What next? Buy her snacks and toys?
Jong-hyun tries to keep his head above water as he tries balancing all of his responsibilities while somehow also finding time for his passion. Choosing to be an aspiring webtoon artist is never easy, especially when his frenemy likes to remind him that he’s still stuck at the bottom rung. While that may be so, at least Jong-hyun still has a clear conscience to his name.
SONG OF THE DAY
Akdong Musician – “안녕 (Hello)” [ Download ]
CHAPTER 5: “Whatever Family”
There’s a horrified look on Bok-gil’s face when Na-woo (who claims that the cat resembles her long-lost Haru) opens her arms up to her. Naturally, Bok-gil jumps out of her human’s arms, to which Na-woo thinks the feline’s just playing hard-to-get. No, no—you’re a threat to her lair.
It’s as if Jong-hyun can read Bok-gil’s thoughts when he remarks that it seems his cat doesn’t like her before ushering her out of the house. Feeling triumphant, Bok-gil praises her human.
Jong-hyun shuts down any future visits, but Na-woo insists that she’s here to see the cat, not him. Mmhmm, sure. Declining her request to ask if Bok-gil would mind her stopping by again, Jong-hyun heads back inside to discover yet another mess. See, this is why you don’t piss off the cat.
Even in his exasperated state, I do enjoy how he affectionately calls her “Bok-gil-sshi” as she shoots daggers at him with her eyes. How dare he interact with another female? She harrumphs in response when he asks if she’s jealous, but melts when he cuddles up with her in bed.
“How might I feel right now if I lost you like she lost [her cat]?” he wonders aloud, then snuggles up to her.
Both Jong-hyun and his rival Jin-sung are called into a meeting at the agency. There’s only one slot available and Jin-sung is convinced that it’ll be his pitch that gets picked up. Jong-hyun refuses to take the bait, though, and reminds Jin-sung that he originally plagiarized his work.
Dokko PD arrives before Jin-sung can say anything to his defense, scoffing at the PD’s use of formality towards a guy who hasn’t even made it big yet. She’s decided to choose someone for the open slot after seeing ten chapters from each of them because both have something good to offer.
Although Jin-sung’s work is interesting, the story also feels recycled whereas there’s something refreshing about Jong-hyun’s work. It honestly makes her a little nervous for the future, but Jong-hyun says it’s likely curiosity about what he’ll come up with, and promises to hit next week’s deadline.
He meets up with Hae-gong at the cafe, ignoring Na-woo’s greeting to him. That doesn’t escape Hae-gong’s notice, however, as he asks in astonishment if Jong-hyun’s actually been talking to a girl. His suspicious eyebrow raises even higher when she returns Jong-hyun’s freshly laundered shirt, and he learns that she even knows about Bok-gil.
“Then you’ve… been to Jong-hyun’s house too?” he asks. Na-woo nods. Hae-gong can hardly believe his ears when she asks if Bok-gil was scared that time she visited “in the wee hours of the night.” Jong-hyun can tell that his buddy’s thoughts are wandering (Hae-gong exclaims: “So y-you… spent the night together?”) and blames her for it. Na-woo’s all, All of it’s true anyway.
Hae-gong pulls himself together to inform Jong-hyun about his upcoming celebratory party because the rumor mill believes Jong-hyun’s story is about to get picked up. Jong-hyun denies it, then leaves Hae-gong with two full glasses of iced Americanos.
Bok-gil looks confused to see her human up and at ’em so early the next morning. Her metaphorical jaw drops when he runs out the door because that means she’s stuck on top of the drafting table, unable to get down.
At the bookstore, Jong-hyun’s boss makes sure that Jong-hyun puts up the promo poster for Jin-sung’s signing just right (to the tune of EXID’s “Up and Down”). He shuts down Jong-hyun’s request for some time off to work on his drawings, not believing for a second that his part-timer is an aspiring webtoon artist.
His boss assumes that Jong-hyun is trying to look for an excuse via this very event poster, telling him that he’s just earned himself extra hours. Back at home, Bok-gil is still on the drafting table, cold and feeling ill.
She’s weak by the time Jong-hyun finally arrives home that night. He picks her up and immediately notices that she’s feverish, so he runs to the animal hospital. Busy taking pictures around the neighborhood, Na-woo notices his hurried exit and follows after him.
Thankfully, the vet says it sounds like common feline cold symptoms. He also recognizes Na-woo as a former classmate (and possibly childhood crush), and Jong-hyun sneaks away with Bok-gil while the two catch up.
Curled up in bed together, Bok-gil pouts that she’s been upset with him lately. He wonders why she stayed by the windowsill all day—usually people think of their mothers when they fall ill. Was that the case for her, too?
But she’s moments away from falling asleep and Jong-hyun apologizes for leaving her alone at home all day. “Let’s live together like this for a long time, okay?” he says before closing his eyes. Realizing that her human must’ve been scared too, she thinks, “I’m grateful that you’re by my side.”
Bok-gil must be feeling better by morning because Jong-hyun wakes up to find the entire place a mess. Now that her fever’s gone, Jong-hyun scolds her before telling her not to fall sick again with a smile.
Realizing that he’s running late, Jong-hyun hurries out the door, only to come to a screeching halt when Na-woo stops him. She’s made an appointment with her veterinary friend because he’d like for Bok-gil to get some tests done, but will make sure the place stays open until after Jong-hyun returns that evening.
Needless to say he gets a spitting lecture from his boss for his tardiness. When he gets called out for his “a family member was ill” response (because to his boss’s knowledge, Jong-hyun’s an orphan), Jong-hyun defends, “No I have family!” Damn right, you do.
CHAPTER 6: “To Live As A Youth”
Imagine having to set up an event for your frenemy, and that’s exactly how Jong-hyun feels while unpacking stacks of Jin-sung’s books. Jin-sung isn’t afraid to rub his fame into Jong-hyun’s face, but Jong-hyun will have none of it—why doesn’t he just rent a stadium for his supposed 60,000-strong fanclub then?
Naturally his boss fawns over Jin-sung, and Jong-hyun scowls when he’s sent to attend to the star artist’s coffee order.
Jin-sung plays the gracious celebrity, though freezes when he meets one ardent fan who firmly believes his words of encouragement were meant for her. Once the event is over, Jin-sung wonders when Jong-hyun will find the time to meet his deadline, adding that it must’ve felt nice being called “Writer Hyun” by Dokko PD.
When told that making it big is all but a pipe dream, Jong-hyun advises that Jin-sung take a hard look at his own conscience and rotting mind (a direct contrast to his book entitled “Beautiful Mind”). He won’t have Jin-sung start a fight in his workplace, and Jin-sung sticks to his earlier claims that he didn’t plagiarize Jong-hyun’s work.
“You might be able to fool the world, but you won’t be able to fool yourself,” Jong-hyun grits out.
It seems like there’s little to nothing that escapes Hae-gong’s ears because he heard about Jin-sung’s book signing event today. He can’t believe how the tables have turned since their college days, back when Jong-hyun was the top dog.
The idea that Jin-sung made his debut by stealing Jong-hyun’s idea has got to anger him, Hae-gong continues. Jong-hyun thinks there must be a reason why all of Jin-sung’s subsequent works were hits too, but Hae-gong believes there’s more to it.
Reminded of Bok-gil’s vet appointment, Jong-hyun heads back to collect her. He’s stopped by his landlady and sighs when told that his deposit will increase next month.
The animal hospital is still open when he arrives (largely because the vet friend has a crush on Na-woo). Bok-gil looks like the grumpiest cat ever when Na-woo pulls her out of the carrier, but seems pleased with her new handmade bell collar.
Jong-hyun stands guard in worry waiting for the tests to wrap up. Na-woo smiles when he tells her that Bok-gil isn’t picky about her food, and adds that Bok-gil is pretty enough as her plump self.
Na-woo wants to buy something for Bok-gil and offers to get her a brand-new carrier to place the worn-looking one. But her good intentions get misconstrued as Jong-hyun retorts that he’s a good, responsible cat owner.
The vet returns to report that while Bok-gil’s cold is gone, she could use more nutrition in her diet. Na-woo asks what vitamins the cat might need then, and when Jong-hyun asks for the bill, the vet answers that Na-woo already settled the bill.
Jong-hyun’s upset that she paid for Bok-gil’s hospital visit, not listening to her explanation that she got a discount for knowing the vet. He hands over another form of payment before she can say anything else.
She runs out after him, asking if he’s mad at her. “Do you hate the idea of me doting on Bok-gil?” He’s just about had enough today, arguing that paying for a medical visit in no way equates to a small kind neighborly gesture. He’s Bok-gil’s owner, so she needn’t bother.
Once at home, Dokko PD calls to remind him about his upcoming deadline, emphasizing that this could be his last shot. So Jong-hyun pulls an all-nighter and briefly stops to let the gas inspector into his home.
His attention is split between signing off for the inspection and fixing the mistake on his recent illustrations, and Bok-gil wonders if she should engage in a round of hide-and-seek. She discovers that the door is still open—thanks to that inspector—and figures that it can’t hurt to take a little stroll.
Nearly two hours pass before Jong-hyun rises from his desk. He calls out to Bok-gil repeatedly… then sees the open door.
Eep, Bok-gil might be afraid of the rain, but what happens now that the inside cat has ventured outside? With all this talk about possibly losing Bok-gil one day, I’d been trying to prepare myself for the occasion… and yet it’s still nerve-racking to think that Bok-gil could be in danger. Somebody tell me that she curled into a ball and is now waiting for Jong-hyun to pick her up in the corner beside the nearby cafe.
It’s a relief to hear that Bok-gil’s health can be treated with supplemental nutrients, though the show does like to remind us that she is also an aging cat. Given her mostly sedentary state, I’m surprised she hasn’t encountered many health problems already, but then again perhaps some breeds encounter different health issues than others. Her age is a mystery since Jong-hyun believed that she might be around ten (though if she is Haru, that puts her around the seven or eight range). In both cases, most cats are still healthy, but I’m sure the show has emphasized any future health scares for the sake of the narrative. (Still, don’t hurt the cat, Imaginary Cat.)
And like any cat, Bok-gil likes to establish her territories, including her human. So it’s understandable that she would be upset that her human is paying attention to someone else, and a girl at that. I love how grumpy she was around Na-woo and enjoy how she’s slowly warming up to her as well. Here’s to hoping that the bell collar around her neck will be the key to finding her.
There isn’t much development between Jong-hyun and Jin-sung apart from the allegations that Jin-sung found fame through Jong-hyun’s work. Dokko PD’s comment that Jin-sung’s ideas feel recycled suggests that he seriously lacks creativity, and if the rumors are true, then I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s been stealing ideas from other artists (both well-known or not) as well. I’m just hoping that Jong-hyun will be able to finish his pitch in time so that he gets the chance to show the arrogant Jin-sung and the world what he has to offer. More than an excellent smile (or scowl), that is.
- Imaginary Cat: Episode 2
- Imaginary Cat: Episode 1
- Yoo Seung-ho and cat co-star at press conference for Imaginary Cat
- More cat cuddles for Yoo Seung-ho
- Yoo Seung-ho gets friendly with his Imaginary Cat
- Yoo Seung-ho meets Imaginary Cat in first teaser
- Yoo Seung-ho picks quirky drama Imaginary Cat for television comeback