I don’t work for Guinness World Records, so I cannot speak for the entire planet. But after exploring the famous Bali tourist spot, Tanah Lot, back in December, I guess it’s safe to declare that the creature in this video below is the fattest civet cat there.
Meet Morgan, one of the 39 civet cats of Agus, owner of Bali Luwak Coffee, the quaint coffee shop you’ll see on your way out of Tanah Lot. I’m personally against the mass production of civet coffee, because I’ve seen so many poor civet cats locked up in cramped cages and force-fed with coffee beans daily for the sake of pooping out the most expensive and exotic coffee in the world—kopi luwak (See how it’s made here).
But after meeting the owner of Bali Luwak Coffee and his pet civet cats, I eased up. His cats are free-range—meaning they aren’t locked up in cages under dire conditions. Trivia: Civet cats can live on coffee beans only three months a year. The rest of the time they feed on fruits and insects found naturally in the forest. Stay away from kopi luwak businessmen who keep civet cats in cruel conditions.
This coffee shop owner is one of the good ones. After interviewing Agus and reading reports about his coffee shop, I learned that he treats his cats the way I take care of my own dogs and cats back home—like domesticated and pampered pets. They are fed properly and groomed regularly. I even saw him clipping the nails of one of his civet cats.
My only worry is that 10-year-old Morgan is a little too fat. I blame it on the packs of sugar he eats daily. “It’s his favorite treat!” Agus said. If you watch the video I took, you’ll notice that Morgan eats the entire packet of sugar, paper packaging included. Oh well, we all need a little fiber in our lives.
My travel buddy and I agreed that seeing Agus’ civet cats was the highlight of our visit to Tabanan Regency. To be honest, I was underwhelmed by Tanah Lot. I paid IDR 60,000 (₱220) just to see rows upon rows of shops and restaurants before getting to the actual Tanah Lot temple, which we could only view from a distance. I’ve seen better sunsets. Perhaps the extreme hype I heard from fellow travelers made my expectations too high.
I felt like part of my ticket fee should have gone to Agus and his “coffee makers,” as he calls them. I met other tourists huddling at the coffee shop, listening to Agus’ stories and petting his domesticated civet cats.
If you find yourself in Bali and would like to explore the kopi luwak culture, look for the fair trade version, like Agus’ coffee shop.
Bali Luwak Coffee is located at Tanah Lot, Beraban, Kediri, Tabanan Regency, Bali.