Tuesday, 28 September 2021

The five-star cattery

A HENLEY couple have returned to their roots by opening a cattery — with a twist.

A HENLEY couple have returned to their roots by opening a cattery — with a twist.

The Cats Whiskers Cattery Hotel, run by Carole and Nick Gorvin, offers wrought-iron throne beds with luxury bedding, climbing frames and dinner served from an old-fashioned wooden cart.

The uPVC suites come in a variety of sizes and are heated for the comfort of the cats.

The couple have set up the cattery at their Fair Mile home, just as they did when they first moved there in 1998, having previously done the same in Stoke Row for nine years.

Mrs Gorvin said: “We ran it until 2004 when we closed it because our children were young.

“It was at that point that we decided to open the Orchard Farm Day Nursery and have a complete change of career.

“We ran that for eight years until we sold it to the Old Station Nursery Group in January.

“The trouble with a nursery is that it really needs to be run by a small chain with HR and compliance departments, whereas when you are stand-alone you have to do it all yourself. We decided to go back to what we loved doing — I like the fact that I can now just get up in the morning and get on with things. I always enjoyed working with cats and I had done it for about 20 years on and off until we stopped. We both found that we had missed it so much.”

Mrs Gorvin said the Cats Whiskers was their best cattery yet.

“I have done things completely differently due to the new standards,” she said.

“You cannot build with wood, wire and plastic anymore — it has to be uPVC so you can clean it properly.

“It is important for the cats to realise that it is not the vets when they come here for the first time.

“It has to be a relaxed atmosphere with no screaming children or big dogs running around. If it is quiet then they settle in really well.”

The couple had the cat beds specially made and each suite has a climbing frame and overlooks the garden.

Mrs Gorvin said: “When I feed them I wheel the food along the corridor in a wooden cart, which I think makes things nicer. The cats hear it coming and they love it.

“We love cats and have always had them as pets and I just thought the cats would like more of a posh hotel. The feedback has been really positive.”

For more information, visit www.catswhiskerscatteryhotel.com

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