Updated: Apr 23, 2019
About 2 years ago I decided on an impulse to leave my job as an IT Programme Manager. My company was organising another moving of the deckchairs as they say in Corporate Land, and out of nowhere, completely unplanned, I decided to leave my deckchair on the corporate liner, once and for all. I had finally realised that the reward for a job well done is more work! My boss told me to have a good day, so I did, I resigned!
After an idyllic month or so of gardening, going to the local most nights and driving my family mad; I realised I needed to do something else, however this time around, doing something I would enjoy, feel fulfilled and be my own boss.
My wife and I started by considering how we could use a small paddock, which we were fortunate to own, next to our house; bought many years ago from a local farmer for the kids to play in as they grew up. As #cat lovers, we came up with the idea of a Cattery, remembering how difficult it had been to house our cat in the area when we were away from time to time.
We spent the next couple of months working on a planning pre-application and were delighted when we received a yes decision in principle. The full planning application itself took around a year and involved numerous expert consultancy reports covering such things as Highways Access Designs and traffic surveys, ecological, mining and minerals, flood risk assessment, topographical surveys etc etc – a minefield and all very new to us.
Finally, and after much dialogue with the planners, we were awarded planning approval in late November 2018. Upon reflection, it may have been easier and less costly, to have decided to have bid for a second Hadron Collider at Cern.
Now all we had to do was fund it and build it throughout the Winter months and be open by May 2019!
I decided against a commercial loan in the end, instead using my Pension Fund that I had built up over my entire working life, so no risk there then!
We are now just about ready to open!! - our Open Day where everyone is welcome to pop in have a chat, drink and view our facilities is 12th May and we open for business on May 14th.
#Apple Blossom Cattery, a dream a number of years in the making. It has certainly been a long, at times often challenging and costly road. And at this stage the million $ question is of course, was it worth it?
Well the immediate answer is that we are certainly very proud of what we have achieved and now look forward to caring and loving for other people’s cats as if they were our own in a top-end facility. I guess you don’t open a cattery in the hope of making a fortune or indeed having an easy life, it’s hard work and long hours, more akin to a #vocation and way of life, albeit a more pleasant and hopefully less stressfull one, my daily round trip to work, will have reduced from 250 miles to 250 yards. That’s not a bad start!
Only time will tell if this is a truly good decision, all I can do is my best, run an ethical business and treat other people’s precious cats as I would hope mine would be looked after.
Thanks for listening, I’ll keep you all informed as the chapters of our story unfolds.