When people go on a vacation or a trip away from home, they worry about their pets and who could take of their ‘babies’ while they are away. Margie McGhee found a way to solve these problem for cat owners by opening a spa that features beautiful ‘cat apartments’ where they can relax and have fun!
Margie named her spa as “Cats Play While You’re Away”. Located on 2904 NE Burton Road in Vancouver, Canada, the place had been bustling with cats for months! With so many people in the city going out on business trips or family vacations, Margie’s business was booming.
With its ‘apartments’ instead of cages, the spa became a haven for cats to live in, even for just a couple of days. Each apartment has its own scratching post, bed, climbing shelves, fabric balls and lots of other toys, and even its own private litter box.
The spa had become so popular in the city that she had plenty of advance bookings, several months in advance! Then, COVID-19 happened. Suddenly, she found herself with a huge, beautiful spa with lots of ‘cat apartments’ but no cats to care for.
“I expected to be full over Vancouver spring break. All my spring reservations cancelled. I have not had a paying customer in here in a couple of months. I think my next reservation is June 22,” Margie admitted.
With people staying at home and not allowed to take a trip, no one needed to leave their pets at Margie’s cat spa for their adorable mini vacation.
“This whole thing happened. School shut down. My business left, completely. I’m sitting here, ‘If I can just get cats in here, I’ll be happier.’ I might not be able to keep my business. While I have it, I want to have cats in here. That’s the point. I did all this with cats in mind,” she recalled.
Since she also volunteers at Furry Friends, an organization sheltering homeless cats, she made an offer to foster all the cats at the shelter – and she did that for free! She also placed the same offer to the Humane Society.
The asked whether she was willing to take 10 cats but were surprised when she said she could have as many as 15. More cats came in, resulting to Margie taking care of as many as 26 cats at her spa. All for free.
While she’s not earning money from fostering these cats and was actually losing a lot as she bought the cats’ needs, Margie is so happy!
“She cares for all their needs day and night, as well as gives them individual love and attention during a time where they don’t have the opportunity to find a forever home. Even though she faces an unpredictable future, as all small businesses are facing, she has opened her business and her heart to do her part to help within the community,” praised Jaime Garver, the president of Furry Friends.
Everyone hopes that the crisis will be over soon so that these cats could find a forever home and that Margie could finally earn money from her special cat spa again.