It is hard to believe that Club Cat opened its doors exactly 3 years ago on March 1, 2019. Truth be told, it seems like a lot longer. Perhaps that’s because we opened 12 months before the pandemic struck and changed how we interact, work, and breathe. Perhaps it’s also because we’re a cat-only hotel and if we were a cat, we’d be turning 28. More than likely, it’s a little of both.
Do cat years matter?
Of course they do! Especially for a cat hotel. In three human years (28 cat years), I’ve learned a lot as a small business owner. I learn each day from our human customers who want the best for their furry family members and know exactly what kitty likes and doesn’t like. And of course I learn a lot from our feline guests with their own unique personalities and needs. I also learn so much from my dedicated team who pour their hearts and souls into caring for our kitty cats while their cat parents are away.
Opening Club Cat was a life changing event for me. I had always worked in an employer-based context at first as an individual contributor and then as a people manager. But no matter how many years of work experience or how many advanced degrees one has, nothing fully prepares a person for entrepreneurship. To steal from Nike’s iconic tagline, you have to “Just Do It.”
Though I have two underaged human children at home, in many ways Club Cat has been my third “baby.” Just like with my human kids, every phase has brought new learning opportunities and challenges. From Club Cat’s conception over a decade ago, we’ve had numerous milestones:
Signing our lease and watching our contractors gut the existing space and install metal frames was monumental. Hosting our Grand Opening was also a huge moment.The first twelve months, from the first kitty cat guest (a kitten named Fluffy!) to our longest extended stay guest (Onic who stayed from June 2019 to Feb 2020!) was full of new adventures. And then the pandemic hit on our first birthday, threatening to shut us down in 2020 as it did so many businesses. Fortunately, we navigated the pandemic and experienced explosive growth in 2021.
Like a cat with the zoomies, we’ve zigged and zagged. We’ve climbed to some seriously high perches. And we’ve fallen down a few times. Fortunately, we’ve landed on our feet each time.
Living our best cat years
Club Cat has brought me more meaning than I ever thought possible in my professional life. I cannot express the depth of gratitude I have for all of our cat parent customers who entrust their cats to our care, the many pet clinics who regularly refer their customers to us, and to my dedicated, hard working team here at Club Cat. Thank you for helping Club Club transform the cat boarding experience into something truly worthy of your feline. Because of your love for your cats, I’m having the time of my life.
Happy Third Birthday to Club Cat!
My heart is so full as I read this blog entry. I remember when you opened and I am so thrilled and happy for you at your success thus far, especially having to navigate through COVID. Bravo, to you, Shana and to your baby, Club Cat! By the way, I loved the customer spawtlight, what a great story!
Thank you, Pamela!