Sol-Ah learns new things about herself that she previously was not aware about the more she’s at risk of letting cat Hong-jo go. When the time and opportunity arrives, will she give cat Hong-jo away or will she fight to keep her cat with her?
Meow, the Secret Boy: Episode 4 Recap
Sol-Ah announces the end of her webtoon; since she’s concluded things with Jae-sun, there’s no reason for her to keep working on the webtoon. While heading off to work, Sol-Ah encounters Jae-sun at his cafe so she awkwardly greets him before leaving.
“We’re not the ones who decide to raise cats. Cats are the ones who decide to live with us.”Paul Leyhausen
Human Hong-jo stops by the cafe to take a look at the hiring announcement that Jae-sun’s posted up. However, he has no interest in working for Jae-sun. Speaking of Jae-sun, Sol-Ah makes it to clear to Doo-sik how she’s ended things with Jae-sun. And she really means it this time. She asks for Doo-sik to set her up on a blind date with someone – someone who exhibits similar characteristics of a dog.
Hong-jo roams around the neighborhood and sniffs his way into visits Doo-sik’s parent’s restaurant. LOL. Doo-sik’s parents recognize Hong-jo from the last time he came to the restaurant with Dae-sung so they’re more than willing to feed him. However, their impressions of Hong-jo are proven wrong when Hong-jo is unable to pay up for his food. In order to make up for the food, Doo-sik’s Mom forces Hong-jo to stay and help work for her the rest of the day. When Doo-sik swings by the restaurant after work, he recognizes Hong-jo’s face but can’t seem to quite remember exactly where he met Hong-jo before. Regardless, he’s excited when he witnesses Hong-jo grab and eat a plate of fish with his bare hands in the restaurant. He’s finally found a match for Sol-Ah. Hehe.
Doo-sik confirms things with Jae-sun before he moves forward with setting Sol-Ah up on a blind date. Jae-sun feigns ignorance at first and pretends to be careless, but he grows curious as to who Doo-sik has in mind as Sol-Ah’s blind date. Of course, the dog-like man is none other than our human Hong-jo. HAHAHA. Sol-Ah and Hong-jo greet each other upon arriving at the meet-up location of their blind date and assumes that they must be going on two separate blind dates. However, it isn’t until a few minutes of waiting and Sol-Ah confirms details with Hong-jo that Sol-Ah puts the pieces of the puzzle together. Her blind date is Hong-jo! Hehehe.
Sol-Ah agrees to still spend time with Hong-jo, but refuses to call it a blind date. They end up having fun by playing some games and winning some prizes as well as eating some sushi. While eating, Sol-Ah and Hong-jo converse about Sol-Ah’s webtoon. Though Hong-jo is still interested in seeing how the webtoon pans out, Sol-Ah doesn’t feel too confident about continuing it. But what about Hong-jo? His dream is to become a travel writer right? When does he plan on leaving soon? Of course, Hong-jo is confused as to what Sol-Ah is referring to, but luckily a phone call from Jae-sun distracts Sol-Ah from gathering more details.
Sol-Ah and Hong-jo return home with a bag full of stuffed dolls that they won earlier that day from the games they played. Along the way, they encounter an upset Jae-sun who wasn’t so happy with how Sol-Ah ignored his call. Sol-Ah assumes Jae-sun must be jealous so she plays along with Hong-jo and claims that the two were on a fun date so she was too busy to answer Jae-sun’s phone call. Sol-Ah and Hong-jo continue to walk back home together, but Jae-sun interrupts them once more. He’s found a new owner for cat Hong-jo and this time, he’s found someone who actually likes cats.
Hong-jo and Sol-Ah are heart-broken with the sudden news. It’s clear human Hong-jo doesn’t want to separate from Sol-Ah and Sol-Ah doesn’t want to give cat Hong-jo away. However, she has no other choice so she heads out to get some cat snacks to prepare for the bitter farewell. Upon learning about the news, Human Hong-jo comes to realizing that as much as he wishes to be human, he is simply just a cat.
Human Hong-jo hangs out with his little buddy, Dae-sung. The two have a conversation about humans living with cats and how it’s always the human being’s choice as to whether to live with the cat or not. Hong-jo can especially relate to this as he’s been given away or abandoned several times throughout his life as a cat. He assumes that the only way to stop all of this is if he becomes a real human being himself so he poses the question to Dae-sung: how do you become a human being?
Human Hong-jo ends up eating a jar full of garlic as suggested by Dae-sung. LOL. Hong-jo becomes ill from the large consumption of garlic and is brought to the veterinarian once again by Sol-Ah for a check-up. The veterinarian suggests for Sol-Ah to spend some time with cat Hong-jo; his troublesome behavior could be a cry for Sol-Ah’s attention.
Doo-sik encounters Ji-eun while at the convenience store. Doo-sik ends up purchasing the last two of the vitamin drink that Ji-eun also wanted to buy. She ends up exiting the store empty-handed, but not all hope is lost. Doo-sik waits outside for her and hands her one of the vitamin drinks he bought. Ji-eun is taken aback by Doo-sik’s act of kindness. As if that isn’t enough, she misunderstands Doo-sik when he follows her as she’s walking home. She assumes he must be walking her home. However, Doo-sik’s parent’s restaurant is right next to Ji-eun’s place which is why Doo-sik was following her. LOL.
Sol-Ah prepares to give cat Hong-jo away, but human Hong-jo has a different game plan. He reveals to Sol-Ah that he plans on staying with her at the house; his dream is not to become a travel writer like how Sol-Ah had assumed, but rather to be a human being. That night, the two spend some time together by drinking some milk at the dining table. Sol-Ah teaches human Hong-jo how to make a shadowy figure of a dog using his fingers and Hong-jo finds himself entranced by how happy Sol-Ah seems. She considers adopting a dog once she gives away cat Hong-jo which upsets Hong-jo. He storms off into his bedroom and attempts to not fall asleep as a way to stay in his human body.
However, Hong-jo ends up falling asleep and is almost caught by Sol-Ah the next morning in the form of a cat. He luckily wakes up just in time to transform into a human being and is given instructions by Sol-Ah on how to take care of cat Hong-jo. Hong-jo suggest that they pack one of Sol-Ah’s belongings just in case cat Hong-jo misses Sol-Ah (because ya know, he needs to still be able to transform into a human being), but Sol-Ah is certain that cat Hong-jo won’t return to her. Dogs will return to their owners, but cats won’t. She gives Hong-jo one last word before heading out for work.
Sol-Ah, Doo-sik, and Ji-eun are assigned a group project together for work. To build some teamwork, the trio head out for some lunch together. However, Ji-eun is too shy to chat with either Doo-sik or Sol-Ah so the team bonding is not as easy as they thought. While Ji-eun goes to use the restroom, Sol-Ah and Doo-sik follow up with each other on Sol-Ah’s blind date as well as her plan of giving away cat Hong-jo.
Human Hong-jo continues his part-time job at Doo-sik’s parent’s restaurant. Doo-sik’s Dad notices Hong-jo’s odd behavior and assumes something must have happened to Hong-jo. Hong-jo opens up to Doo-sik’s Dad about Sol-Ah’s plans to abandon him and feels guilty for never having done anything for Sol-Ah the entire time he was with her. Doo-sik’s Mom makes her way into the conversation and acknowledges Hong-jo’s role as Sol-Ah’s stepbrother. Upon learning about the supposed connection between Hong-jo and Sol-Ah, Doo-sik’s Dad slips some money into Hong-jo’s pockets as a way to thank him for his hard work. Hong-jo then uses this money to buy some snacks for Sol-Ah. Aww.
Sol-Ah grows concerned when she’s unable to find Hong-jo at home that night. She sets out on the streets in search of cat Hong-jo while human Hong-jo walks home in fatigue with snacks he’s bought for Sol-Ah. However, his exhaustion is too much for him and he debates on sleeping in a little cat house he notices in a dark alley. A man watches him in silence not too far away. Meanwhile, Sol-Ah overhears a group of high school students talk about a dead cat that a security guard buried not too far away. Sol-Ah panics and rushes to the burial site to check if it’s her cat. Sol-Ah sighs in relief upon discovering that the deceased cat doesn’t belong to her. Human Hong-jo is busy conversing with the very same man who was watching him; it turns out the man was attempting to catch a stray cat who was injured and had built the little house in hopes that the cat would rest in it.
Jae-sun heads over to Sol-Ah’s house with the hope of grabbing cat Hong-jo to give to the new owner. However, human Hong-jo stops him and announces that cat Hong-jo is no longer at the house. Hong-jo’s statement is confirmed when Jae-sun encounters Sol-Ah a few minutes later outside in the neighborhood that night. Sol-Ah breaks the news to Jae-sun that she’s lost cat Hong-jo; she can’t find him. Jae-sun grows angry and upset; she once again abandoned her cat and clearly cannot take responsibility for the pet. Sol-Ah is offended by Jae-sun’s comments and clarifies that she did not abandon cat Hong-jo because of any ill feelings towards Jae-sun or Jae-sun’s ex-girlfriend. If she abandoned anyone, it was Jae-sun who she abandoned, not cat Hong-jo. OHHHHHHH.
Hong-jo returns home in fear and sadness. However, she gains hope when she finally discovers cat Hong-jo asleep in her bedroom closet. She cradles the cat in her arms upon finding it and bursts into tears at the same time. That night, she joins human Hong-jo in eating the spicy rice cakes and fish-shaped buns that he had gotten her earlier. If only she hadn’t gone out searching for cat Hong-jo earlier, the spicy rice cakes wouldn’t have gotten soggy. Hong-jo celebrates internally upon finding out that Sol-Ah was searching for him earlier.
Jae-sun receives a call that night from the person who was supposed to serve as cat Hong-jo’s new caregiver. The person is unable to care for cat Hong-jo any longer. The conversation reminds Jae-sun of his childhood and how he was abandoned multiple times by his foster parents. The feelings hit too close to home for him and he grows sad upon recalling the memories. The next morning, Sol-Ah and Jae-sun meet up to give away cat Hong-jo, but it’s too difficult for Sol-Ah so she makes the ultimate decision to keep him. Yes, she thought she didn’t like cats, but she likes cat Hong-jo. Aww. It’s because of cat Hong-jo that Sol-Ah gathers the motivation to start her webtoon once again.
Meanwhile, Bang-shil’s actual son – Guk-bong – makes his way out of the airport and prepares to return home. The real Guk-bong has returned.
Wow, just when I thought the drama might have been running out of content and materials to give us, it still manages to keep going and keep pulling surprises on us. I’m not surprised per se that the real Guk-bong has returned; setting up and framing Hong-jo as Bang-shil’s son was only going to happen for so long and the truth would eventually come out sooner or later. Guk-bong’s return to Korea will be one of the first steps in revealing Hong-jo’s human identity to Sol-Ah. Nonetheless, I’m glad that the plot is moving forward after what seemed like an interesting push and pull premise between Jae-sun and Sol-Ah.
I know I mentioned before in my prior recaps about how I wasn’t as invested in Jae-sun and Sol-Ah’s complicated relationship with each other. While my general thought still stands the same, I do have to admit that I felt a little bit for the both of them in this episode. Jae-sun wishes to give cat Hong-jo the love and stable support it needs as it’s been through multiple caregivers throughout its life; Sol-Ah kept the cat close as a way to still keep Jae-sun close around her even though it’s something she denies deep down inside. It’s clear the two are on totally different pages which is why they can’t seem to repair the relationship that they once had back when they were in high school. The friendship is still there, but the lingering possibilities of being more than friends or not is what is refraining them from understanding each other. Jae-sun just truly and genuinely wants someone who will care for the cat since he doesn’t want cat Hong-jo to have to go through what he went through as a child and suffer from feelings of abandonment. Sol-Ah, on the other hand, assumes Jae-sun’s actions comes from a feeling of jealousy or frustration because of their complicated relationship. Instead of tuning into each other’s thoughts and giving the other the opportunity to explain themselves (and not be so passive-aggressive), they instead talk over each other. It’s going to take a while for the two to be on good terms again if they continue to act this way towards each other.
I love witnessing Sol-Ah’s slow but subtle journey from a cat hater to a cat lover. I love it even more how she admitted in this episode that yes, she might not love all cats, but she sure does care for her cat – cat Hong-jo. Her proclamation of that statement to Jae-sun confirmed what we had been watching all along: her connection with cat Hong-jo was what she might have needed in her life to change things up. With cat Hong-jo, she’s no longer as lonely without her father there with her and she even has the motivation to keep doing what she loves: drawing. Cat Hong-jo has made a positive impact in her life that even Sol-Ah herself didn’t expect which is why she is even more inspired to keep him.
The “blind date” in this episode was so fun, adorable, and pretty and I love how much in denial Sol-Ah was about it even though it was really sort of… a blind date. Similar to cat Hong-jo, human Hong-jo has also made just as big of an impact in Sol-Ah’s life and she finds herself also enjoying Hong-jo’s presence around her. He understands her like no one else does and it’s nice to have someone accompany her in times of loneliness. It’s obvious that Sol-Ah enjoys the company and support that both forms of Hong-jo provide her and when given the opportunity, she rather have that than not.
Extra screenshots from the episode~