It was in Kennedy Park in Lima, the capital of Peru, surrounded by dozens of feline friends, that a Barrowford woman knew she wanted to work with cats.
Having returned from travelling around the world with her boyfriend, the lifelong cat-lover, Judith Green (26), set up HomeCats: a cat-sitting business offering a unique service to her fellow cat fans.
Judith, a former Nelson and Colne College student, believes that the stress of taking a cat out of their familiar home environment and to a cattery is an unnecessary strain, offering instead to travel to people’s houses to feed and care for their purring pets.
“People [are] responsive to the benefits of keeping the cats happy at home with their usual food, daily habits, [and] routine,” said Judith, who has previously worked in merchandising for JD Sports and Matalan. “There’s also the added benefit when looking after people’s cats, I will take care of their home for added peace of mind.”
A long-time cat enthusiast, Judith got her first cat in 1996 - Dilly, with whom she lived until he sadly passed away at the age of 19 in 2015. “I have always loved cats,” she said. “I literally can’t pass a cat without saying hello and giving it a tickle.”
A graduate from the University of Central Lancashire - where she met her boyfriend, Jonathan Syrad (28) - Judith is enjoying learning about the logistics of starting her own business, and is keen to make sure she has all bases covered.
“I’m undertaking courses in feline behaviour and psychology as well as first aid for cats and kittens,” Judith said. “[It] has been interesting and ensures I can provide the best care for everyone’s cats.”
As interest builds over the Christmas period, HomeCats - which already has its first booking over the holiday period - is receiving palpable interest and support after a foundation of hard work that has seen Judith starting a website, organising marketing, and designing flyers, which she and her retired mother handed out.
Back in Peru, the cat park was naturally a popular tourist attraction with Judith and Jonathan. “I loved spending time there,” said Judith. “We made the five mile walk to and from the park three times in three days!”
HomeCats can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, on 0749 198 9792, or online at www.homecats.co.uk.