Connoisseurs of Comfort / Longcroft Southport

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Longcroft Southport cat hotel cattery

Hello cat lovers,

today the newest member of the Longcroft Family, Harvey (Longcroft Southport) shares his journey to becoming a Longcroft Franchisee:

How many people are prone to pondering that old age question “What if…?” from time to time? More specifically, “What if…I changed my career…?”

Perhaps when hunched over your desk at work…or gazing longingly out of a rain-spattered window sipping a tepid mid-morning coffee…or maybe when you’re sardined into that commuter train at rush hour, a fellow sardine’s umbrella up your left nostril…?

Not many of us have never entertained that thought at one time or another, I would guess; it seems it’s human nature to consider what might have been and to fantasise about our own ‘sliding doors’ moment and map out an alternative life, a ‘path not taken’ if you like…if only in our heated imaginations.

Two years ago I had a similar thought.

“The smallest feline is a masterpiece” (Leonardo da Vinci)

Twenty-five years of teaching had brought many rewards: job satisfaction, a decent living standard, a feeling of doing something that mattered, a honed and primed sense of humour, an ability to recite any line from ‘Macbeth’.

There were scars too, though: exhaustion, patience virtually extinguished, attacks from successive governments on the profession, an ability to recite any line from ‘Macbeth’…

Teaching involves its fair share of good and bad experiences in the workplace, and I would heartily recommend it as a career to anyone who asked me. For me, however, it had a shelf life.

“Cats are connoisseurs of comfort” (James Herriot)

I have always loved animals of all shapes and sizes, and when my partner and I were batting around ideas for that ‘big career change’ thing, we wondered at the possibilities that might involve furry, scaly or feathery friends. Around that time, Channel 4 were screening a series calledCompare Your Life which we were idly watching one weekday evening between marking exam papers, and we had a bit of a eureka moment…

Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotels were being featured in the programme as an alternative working way of life and it’s fair to say we were hooked. It seemed to capture much of what we were looking for: a different pace of life, the chance to work with animals, the ability to work from home, the opportunity to be our own bosses. Here, then, the journey started.

“A cat has absolute emotional honesty” (Ernest Hemingway)

We are now the proud owners of a Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel, situated here in our garden in Birkdale, Southport. It’s a calming and positive way to earn a living. We love showing visitors and prospective customers around, as we know it’s something to be proud of, and the best the sector has to offer – a tremendously empowering prospect for people with minimal experience of running their own business.

There are some similarities with a life in teaching. You are entertaining and caring for a disparate group of individuals with varying demands and idiosyncrasies; you are endeavouring to give your charges the best possible experience you can whilst under your care and influence, and aiming to satisfy and delight their parents simultaneously.

I further enjoy, though, the extra time you have to reflect on your day, rather than collapsing with exhaustion, and cats have way of provoking thought and contemplation.

“Time spent with cats is never wasted” (Sigmund Freud)

Two years down the line and it’s fair to say we’ve learned a lot about, amongst other things: planning permission and the vagaries of council rules, builders and their unique approach to life, the many ways to deploy the colour pink, the correct etiquette when inviting a mayor into your home, and most of all, the rewarding ways that cats can command your love and attention.

As someone might have said: to grrrr is human, but to purr is feline… <^^>

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