Interview with Shenna, Store Co-Manager

Shenna has been working at Catoro since day one (over 3 years) and is one of our Store Managers. Read this interview to find out what it's like working in a cat cafe and interacting with rescue cats. In her words, working at Catoro is "fun, fulfilling and challenging."

What is your favourite drink on our menu?

The Honey Lemon Green Tea is my go-to!

What is the most fun part of your job?

Petting the kitties. Telling them how cute they are. Watching them do weird and silly cat things. Joking around with my coworkers. I also love meeting and exchanging cat photos and stories with our awesome customers.

What is the hardest part about working at Catoro?

It goes without saying that you get attached to many kitties that stay at Catoro, so one of the hardest parts is saying goodbye when it’s time for them to go home. It is bittersweet. We miss them just as much as we are happy they've found a loving and understanding home.

What is the most stressful thing about your job?

Probably the uncertainty. A cat cafe is a very niche thing. And as a small business that's been open longer in the pandemic than not, there's been a lot of challenges and adapting to overcome them. At the end of the day, we try to do what’s best for the cats, the team, and the business, so we can continue to help more cats and people in the community. 

What is your favourite memory of working at Catoro?

It's hard to pick! Any team hangout in the Cat Forest is pretty eventful- we're always having to fend off the cats from stealing and eating our food. 

Another time, a few of us went out for ice cream and came across a neighborhood cat. We instantly crossed the street and huddled around, trying to befriend the kitty and fulfill our roles as crazy cat people.

Another memorable moment was seeing Moxie walk for the first time in the Cat Forest. A customer asked who the kitty was and I was in shock realizing it was indeed, Moxie. We were under the impression that her legs were paralyzed (due to previous abuse) and that she couldn't use them - but she proved us wrong!

How is working at Catoro different than you expected?

I didn't expect how difficult it would be. I love being passionate about what we do, but it can also take quite the emotional toll. We meet and care for so many cats, some with really upsetting pasts. Still, they are so trusting and loving despite that. Even when it comes to kitties who aren't as eager for human interaction, we want to show them that they are in a safer space now. 

Tell us about a cat whose story affected you. 

We had a cat named Zeusy at Catoro for a long time. He was a chonky grey cat who had been hit by a car and suffered from nerve damage in his back legs. He did not have the best control over his bladder and would leak pee often, which made it very hard to find him a home. 

He was one of the friendliest cats in the forest, being the first to greet guests and ask for pets and scratches. I love chonky kitties. I would often seek him out in the Cat Forest to give him a big squeeze. It made me feel better after a rough, or long day. I still miss him but I know he's found a very patient and understanding home!

What is one thing you wish more people knew about rescue cats?

Rescue cats all have their stories. Some of them will go through more than us humans will go through in their lifetime. I think it's important to remember that they are deserving of our love and patience, and the hard work that comes with earning their trust.

Tell us about your pets!

We adopted Marlowe from the SPCA about 4 few years ago. She was from 100 Mile House and flew on a helicopter to get here. She has a little nub tail, gives the hardest head butts and loves being held and cuddled. Marlowe can be pretty cautious and shy, but also very demanding and vocal when she wants attention. When she walks on you she likes to pin point all her weight on her one foot so you know she's there. 

We adopted Monty from Catoro in 2020. We first met when he climbed up my leg onto my shoulder to give me lots of wet nose kisses. I honestly think he would do that to anyone who would let him- he is just the biggest love bug. He will stare at you lovingly and will rip holes in your shirt with his intense biscuit making. He loves empty bags and sleeping in the strangest places/positions. He also loves to cause mischief and won himself the nickname of Mon-toe, for biting toes.

Both of our kitties are so sweet in their own ways. They love to play and chase each other, and sing songs during the night. They're still not sure if bouncy ball toys are friend or foe. They are both obsessed with the Tiki Cat Stix from Catoro, which we use to help us trim their nails. The Moonlight Cat Tree is their favourite spot to bird watch and spy on the neighbours.  

For more Monty and Marlowe content follow @montyandmarlowe on Instagram!