For the last few years of my life, I have been on a mission to find my true purpose. In 2017, I lost my (human) best friend, and I sunk into a deep depression. I was no stranger to depression before this, but grief was a new reckoning. I couldn’t keep a steady job and I lost many friends, but there was something always keeping me grounded. And that something, was cats. To aid me on my journey, I spent time thinking about my roots, which led me to Meowtel.
My roots started with my first kitten when I was 3 years old. She was a gorgeous tortoiseshell that my mother spotted in the local Walmart parking lot. I named her Caterpillar because she reminded me of a beautiful baby butterfly (please don’t question my 3 year old logic). Caterpillar was my first best friend and helped me foster an immense love and appreciation for cats. Growing up in the rural south, there were no shortage of cats. People would often leave cats near our area and somehow they would always make their way to our home. At one point in my childhood, we had at least 30 outdoor cats that prowled our 20+ acres of land. I’d call “Kitty, kitty, kitty!” and within minutes I’d be surrounded by cats all with their tails in the air, ready to eat and be loved. I made a point to name every single cat that stayed with us.
The heart of this tale is that I have been a cat lover all my life, even before I could remember. My mother helped foster this love and taught me how to respect and care for kitties. The first book I learned to read on my own was The Cat in The Hat by Dr. Suess, encouraged by my mom. My love for cats has never left me, though many cats have come and gone in my life. I remember many strays I’d call my own, or I’d make friends with neighbors’ outdoor cats. My teenage years were hard due to family matters, but I knew I could always rely on the company of cats no matter where I lived. I still think fondly of many cats I’ve met at friends’ houses or cats I’ve seen while driving around. No matter where I go, I keep an eye out for felines.
I spent two years dealing with depression and grief and struggled to keep a steady job. During this time I asked myself over and over "What do you want to do with your life?". I thought back to how my parents, my paternal grandparents, my uncles, and great-uncles were entrepreneurs. Almost everyone in my family was their own boss and started their own businesses. I've always dreamed of owning my own cat sanctuary as a non-profit, but I realized that was more of a retirement goal. My real goal in life is to start a cat cafe. For the uninitiated, cat cafes offer a cafe environment where cats can also get adopted. The idea spread in Japan and has been popular in major cities across the US for years now. I have always been an avid cat lover and after research and a long period of self-reflection, I said "This is it, this is what I want to spend my life working on." I always told myself chasing my dreams wouldn't get me anywhere, that making a living working with cats wasn't in the cards for me. But then I realized it didn't have to be that way. I could change my life and get the tools I need to make it. It's slow, and I often lose patience. Yet, the moment you realize what you want to do, you know the first steps are worth it. I say this because I want others to understand where I have come from and where I will go, even if it all sounds silly.
This self-reflection led me to Meowtel. While going through this rough patch, I started searching for a way to work with cats. I knew of sites like Rover for dogs or Care.com, but then Meowtel popped up on my search list. After reading through their entire site, I decided to apply to be a sitter. I had no clue that cat only sitters could be a thing, but Meowtel showed me otherwise. Working with Meowtel has been an absolute joy, and I am always eager to tell people about the service. Meowtel proved to me “you can take your dream and make it real.”
For those that are wondering, my life did improve after I sought help for my grief. I am happy to say I am now meowied as of October 2019, and last summer we got an owner-financed deal on a very special home. It was the home of my best friend, where I have so many fond memories of her. And now with our 2 dogs and 2 cats, I can say life does get better, and there is something worth sticking around for. I am proof that "things get better." After starting my college journey 7 years ago, I am 6 classes away from graduation and will graduate this fall with an AAS in General Studies - Entrepreneurship. Working with Meowtel is helping us reach our savings goals and helping me follow my passions. I enjoy - and I’m proud - to be a Meowtel cat sitter. I cannot wait to see what the future holds with Meowtel. We only have one life, so follow your dreams no matter how long it’ll take you, and pet every cat you can on the way.
I am a cat-lover to the core, and feel it is important to give back to the cat-mmunity. In honor of my oldest purrbaby Sushi who turns eight on April 22nd, I will be donating all of my April referral code earnings to Guardian Angels Cat Club, a local shelter in Hot Springs, AR that helps cats find forever homes. Use my referral code KRISTAS034172 when you book your first reservation; you’ll save $15 and I will donate my $15 referral bonus to Guardian Angels Cat Club. Thank you for helping me contribute to their amazing work. Together we can help shelter cats find their fur-ever home so that they can live their best lives!
Meowtel cat sitters are truly passionate about what they do. A big shout out to Krista for sharing her beautiful story! We are honored to have her on our Meowtel Sitter Squad. Visit our Sitter Stories blog page to see how other sitters have been inspired by cats and how their lives have been touched by their fur-avorite felines. Are you a Meowtel sitter with a tale to tell? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for your story to be featured on our blog. Let’s spread all the purrs to our cat-mmunity!