In the last post, I spoke about my inspiration to become a Cat Sitter and Behaviourist.
However, I didn’t pull the trigger until 6 months later.
It was 2009 then, and I started feeling depressed again. I again got bored with my job (do you see a pattern yet? I get bored very easily).
At first I tried to understand the cause of my depression. I thought maybe I am someone who needs to move a lot. But we only moved to Dublin two years ago. Suddenly a lightbulb went on – maybe it’s my job! Maybe I just don’t like working in an office! The idea of being in a cubicle with a whole bunch of other people typing away in front of the computer under fluorescent light bores me even just thinking about it now. Plus, in a corporate environment, we are supposed to ‘care’ about the corporation we work for. But seeing what corporations have been doing for the past few years, this idea is funny. Don’t get me wrong. I need to do a little disclaimer here. The corporation I worked for was lovely to me, I liked my boss, and in fact they couldn’t have been nicer to me. My ex-boss was especially supportive of me starting my own business at the end. If you are reading this, thank you again. So when I say I don’t like to work for corporations, it wasn’t about the particular corporation I worked for. It’s the idea of being a member of a multinational company, the feeling of being in a factory-assembly-line-like operation that bothers me. If you like, it’s the ideology of it that bothers me. I like to work hard, I don’t mind working 14 hour days. In fact, ‘thanks’ to my Chinese blood, I am a bit of a workaholic, but I don’t want my hard work to contribute to some shareholders, I want it to contribute to me and my family.
Then I sat down to think about all the jobs I had in my life. And I realised I got bored with all the jobs I had after a year or two, except one– the Train Attendant for a French high speed train, when I was a student in Paris. That’s because as a Train Attendant I didn’t have a boss telling me what to do every morning, and every day was different! (In fact, I met so many interesting people and have so many crazy passenger stories that I will probably post on this in the future on my sideline blog here, keep an eye on it.)
So the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place:
I was a cat hater and turned into a cat lover, thanks to Le Chat
+ My cat is very difficult so I read about cat psychology
+ I couldn’t find a Cat Sitter to take care of Larmlarm so I realised there is a market
+ I got bored with working for corporations
= I started Maow Care.
Just when I made up my mind to start my own business, the Irish government announced we were officially in a recession. I told a few friends about quitting my ‘good job’. Some of them were very supportive, some thought I was mad.
I mulled over the idea for a few weeks, and realised I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So I told myself I would give myself a year. If I wasn’t making a living wage in a year, I would go back to look for a job in a bank (not that banks are ever closing down or anything from the observation we’ve had these past few years, am I right?)
So I went and started Maow Care.
I would like to say, ‘then we lived happily ever after’, but it’s not so simple. Starting your own business involved a lot of hard work, determination, self-discipline, and more importantly, support from friends and family. Uh-no, if you think you can do it by yourself, you can’t. Trust me on this. I am a control freak and I don’t even let people help me when I am ill. But having my own business taught me to ask for help. Look, I am not going to bore you with this if you are coming here to read about cat stories, so if you want to know more about my journey to self-employment, go to my ‘Start My Own Business’ corner here.
But since I became self-employed, guess what? I never feel depressed, not ever, not even a tiny bit. I wake up every day looking forward to the challenges ahead of me. I get to see so many fabulous cats and their interesting humans (just as fabulous). I have also noticed cat people tend to have very similar personalities and have a lot of similar hobbies (scary enough, I do think cat people have a particular profile and this research is kind of accurate…), Cat Man and I ended up meeting lots of interesting people, some of them becoming great friends. Being self-employed also gives you a sense of control over your own destiny, and that is very empowering.
However, don’t think it’s all a fairy-tale like existence. On the contrary! Some days I work until midnight or after midnight worrying about a newsletter to send tips to my customers. If a cat is ill, I worry. There is a lot of laughter in this job, but also a lot of pain and tears, with the occasional blood and poop thrown in.
But I don’t ever feel I am working.
And THAT’S how I became a cat sitter…This is the final part of the ‘How I became a cat sitter’ series, but it’s only the beginning of my blogging journey. For the last 5 years I am in this job, I have seen so many amazing cats and humans. I love my job and most of the day, I don’t feel like I am working. Next week, I will start telling you stories about My Life as a Cat Sitter. I hope you can join me in my journey and that you can enjoy my rounds as much as I do. Go click ‘FOLLOW’ now! What are you waiting for?