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Our Story

My name is Rebecca and I’m the owner of MEOW. Im mum to Isla who was born in lockdown 2020 and Rupert who was born in 2022, I have a Puggle called Louie and three cats - Stumpy, Tigger and Doug. I’m a chronic over sharer so here’s the journey to MEOW! 

 

 

I always felt like the odd one out in school & college. I always felt this massive sense of overwhelm with what I wanted to do in life with genuinely no idea what direction I wanted to go in. One day I’d tell you I’d love to be a doctor then the next I’d want to be a lawyer, indecisiveness runs in my blood and I struggled with a sense of identity. The only thing I’ve always been passionate about is animals.. a room full of humans or a room full of animals? Id be running straight into the room with the animals. 

 

After bailing out of two colleges i followed in a close family members footsteps and ended up falling into rental property management. I became quite good at this and even managed to convince myself this was the career I wanted, however I found myself changing from job to job constantly chasing a spark which never came. I found out I was pregnant late 2019 a day after my first day at yet another new company (perfect timing hey!), everything kind of grounded to a halt from here. The toxic management mixed with pregnancy hormones was the last straw for me and I finally decided that property management was not for me. 

 

I gave birth to Isla in June 2020 swiftly followed by Rupert in May 2022 and was living the life I always wanted, however still struggled with a sense of self identity. Past my babies I had no other plans in life, I had no idea how I would provide for my babies in the future, how I’d encourage them to do their best and be their best when I had no motivation for this myself. I pushed it to the back of my head and just tried to concentrate on the present rather than what would happen in the future. 

 

 

Fast forward to March this year I visited Poland and had the BEST time. This is where I really discovered cat cafes, I’d heard of them in London however didn’t really ever look into visiting as they didn’t accept children. Child free and in a different country I visited a cat cafe and a spark went off in my head. The concept amazed me, all of the cats in this particular cafe had been rescued from some awful situations and were now living full time at the cafe, I loved this idea as the link between cat rescue and cat cafes was something I hadn’t seen before. 

 

 

When I arrived home it was all systems go, I visited the ‘local’ cat cafes and identified a gap where cat rescue could be incorporated into the business model and where children of all ages would be welcome. I did a few surveys on the local Facebook pages and although of course I was met with a fair amount of negativity the positivity and excitement completely outweighed this. I then contacted Penny from Friends of Felines to see if they would be interested in partnering with me and was met with such positivity and support I knew without a doubt the cat cafe was something I wanted to do. 

 

Next step- business loan. Before this point I had done a great job of ignoring the fact that setting up a business takes a lot of money. After doing some research I decided to apply for a government loan with no real hope of it being accepted if I’m totally honest. I worked for weeks putting together a business plan, health and safety plans, budgets, spreadsheets.. the list could go on, it was absolutely endless and I had to have every eventuality and avenue covered. After what seemed like forever the decision finally came through that my application had been successful! Even to this day I can’t believe it. 

 

I had my eye on 7 High Street for a while for a couple of reasons- Top of the high street was dying and needed something new, the space was ideal and it needed a lot of work, meaning I could really make it mine. I didn’t know quite how much work we would need to do though, walls had to be knocked through, kitchen had to be built, electrical rewire, rotting floor had to be repaired, windows had to be replaced for a start. Each time we got close to the end something new would crop up and our opening date was pushed back three times in order for us to be able to get the work done. With the help of a fantastic team of workers and some excellent work from my new starters we pulled it out the bag and eventually got the cafe ready for opening! The day before we opened I worked overnight building furniture, cleaning, printing menus, installing our signs, sorting stock and working out how on earth to use a coffee machine! 

 

 

We opened our doors on June 3rd 2023, I’m so proud and thankful for everyone who’s helped me to get the premises open. Zara, Taylor, Amelia, Aimee and Luca the staff at MEOW work unbelievably hard every single day, their passion to help these cats makes me so proud to have them as my employees and I’m incredibly thankful for them for every single thing that they do. Friends of Felines are of course our hero’s, they ensure that all of the cats that come to us are suitable, vet checked, vaccinated and are always on hand to answer my questions without their support I wouldn’t of ever been able to make this work. 

 

 

So here we are! This is the very long winded journey to MEOW. I’m able to offer a space space for rescue cats to come and meet their new potential owners, great coffee, a lovely space to unwind and a place for children to get to know cats. A massive thank you to all of my customers, and if you’ve managed to read this all I hope your cup of tea hasn’t gone cold! 

 

Rebecca. x 

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