When you’re a cat parent there are tons of reasons to be thankful. But when you work at a luxury cat hotel, there are even more.
Here are just a few of the many reasons I’m thankful that I am a cat mama who owns Club Cat in Irvine (in no PURRticular order):
Our customers are cats.
Outside of veterinary medicine professionals and support staff, very few people can say this. Of course, we have beloved human customers too. But while cat mama and cat papa are away, their kitty’s needs and desires are our main focus. And Club Cat feline guests make the very BEST customers!
Spending time with cats is literally part of the job requirement.
Did you know that a 2017 study shows that most domestic cats prefer human interaction over other forms of stimulation such as toys and food? That’s why a huge part of our job is interacting with our kitties. The more we engage with them, the better they trust us and the better we get to know them and their preferences. And yes, spending time with our feline guests is on all Club Cat job descriptions.
I work with a team that loves cats as much as I do.
Our Club Cat team is demographically diverse. And yet no matter how different we are from one another, we share a fierce love for cats. That means a lot when you’re in the business of kitty cat caretaking. It just isn’t your typical job. For example, it is not uncommon for team members to text each other about our feline guests outside of working hours strictly out of care and concern. I have worked at many companies in the last 30 years but none that has been so devoted to our customers as we are at Club Cat.
When I’m having a bad day, I can cuddle or play with a cat.
When I’ve had a bad day in the past, before I became a business owner, I would take a walk or drive somewhere, anywhere to get away from work! Since I opened Club Cat, when I’m having a bad day, I intentionally stay at work and sneak into our guest suites and cuddle with the kitties. And within minutes my bad mood is happy again. A bad day at Club Cat is still better than a normal day anywhere else.
My love for cats becomes greater each day.
When I first opened Club Cat, I felt guilty. I would come home from work and I could tell they knew I had been around other cats. It’s like they just instinctively knew (oh and the scent of other kitties may have also been a factor) and so they gave me the cold shoulder. I felt like I was cheating on my cats! In a way I was. But did caring for other people’s kitties mean I loved my own less? I reminded myself of what my husband and I told our oldest human daughter when I was pregnant with her sister: ‘Love begets love!” I no longer feel guilty. And my kitties have come to accept this arrangement too. And I think in their stubborn, kitty-centric, non-human way they are happier kitties because my love and appreciation for them has increased too!
I have a much greater understanding of cat behavior.
Unless you are my dog Blue who ignores every clue my cats give him about how to approach them, there is no way you can work at a luxury cat hotel like Club Cat and not glean a greater understanding of how cats behave. And that knowledge helps me be a better luxury cat hotel owner. While my team and I may not know as much as a cat behaviorist such as Jackson Galaxy knows about cat behavior, we might be close. And that makes us better at what we do because we then apply that knowledge to our jobs each day.
What I do for work impacts others in a positive way.
I worked for 30 years in numerous employer-based situations. Ranging from small nonprofits to multibillion dollar, publicly traded companies. I don’t regret the time spent in other industries. However, I do know that I have never felt so fulfilled in my professional life as I have since I opened Club Cat. And that is because I now make an impact on other people’s lives. Our customers appreciate us at Club Cat because they see that we pour our hearts and souls out into taking care of their fur babies. It is truly an honor to know that someone who hasn’t traveled in years because they never found a place they felt comfortable boarding their cat finally found us. That is ‘Priceless’ as the Mastercard commercial goes.
I get to see kitty’s grow up!
My team and I have had the honor and joy of witnessing cats that we first hosted as teeny tiny kittens grow into mature cats. I love how their little personalities evolve over time! Each time we host them we discover new things about them. And we genuinely look forward to when they next stay with us. Team texts like, “Onic is coming back!” are common.
I get to see my customers face-to-face.
In a world where we’ve become so virtualized, it is a blessing to be able to interact with both feline and human customers in person. It’s true that sometimes even I, a hardcore extrovert, feel antisocial (it’s rare but it happens). But overall, not being on Zoom calls all day is something I look forward to.
I am a much better cat parent.
In every way, owning and operating Club Cat has made me a far better cat parent than I would have been had I not taken the leap into entrepreneurship and stayed stagnant in my unfulfilling career. From observing what and how other cat parents feed their cats to the toys their cats play with and doing my research, I am exposed to so many more great ideas and practicing about cat parenting.
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