The Story Behind Hotels With Cats
A bit of a reflective post today, for those of you who might be new to Hotels With Cats and wondering how does one come up with such a random idea? Well, wonder no more! Hotels With Cats found me, so it seems.
It was the beginning of 2017. I was on long service leave from my day job on a yoga, freediving, cat meeting adventure in Bali for six glorious weeks. I was desperately missing my rescue cats, Sasha and Piper who were safely at home with my husband, (who would be replaced by a cat sitter when he came to meet me). I love travelling to Bali and my usual itinerary includes staying at an AirBNB in Ubud, (which comes with three feline residents), visiting Villa Kitty, a trip up to Amed to do some freediving with a few days in Sanur at the end of my trip. At the end of the trip, the husband came to meet me and we had to move guesthouses sadly because they were full, (or maybe not, as it ended up!)
We moved just up the road to Geria Geri Bungalow in Amed where we met Tiger, the first resident cat I came across in Bali. I was delighted to see this ginger boy in the TripAdvisor images, and might have picked our move based on said cat. Although we were busy doing our own thing, Tiger would be waiting near our bungalow when we returned from a days diving, would want to be inside our bungalow when it rained, and even snuggled with me on the day bed when I was reading. His presence soothed me, when I missed my own cats, I knew I was giving my business to fellow animal lovers which was a good feeling as well. Tiger was really was a part of the hotel goings on. He spends his days checking out the dive school, patrolling the gardens and sunning himself outside Bungalow 1 (we later found out guests would request “Tiger’s Bungalow”).
A week later we moved down the road to Sanur to Karmagali Suites. I’d forgotten about hotel cats for a while but it seems they didn’t want to forget me. A loud meow drew us to meet Mislee at the check in and a few days later my idea was born! “There should be a way to find Hotels With Cats”, I said to the husband, poolside, sipping a Bintang. “I would totally stay in all of them”, and wondered quietly if there was more resident cats. A quick google and a trip down the dark hole of Instagram hashtags told me that there indeed was more! And the idea for Hotels With Cats was born to have all these kitties and their beautiful rescue stories in one place.
Where are we now?
It’s been two years on since I sipped a Bintang with Mislee poolside in Bali. Since September 2017, we have featured more than 45 Hotels With Cats, sanctuaries and shop cats across the globe, published a little magazine and travelled to Santorini to check out the cat situation there and see how we can help! My mission is to get to 100 Hotels With Cats, cover my running costs and donate the rest to cat rescue! It can be hard to keep it all going around the ‘day’ job. But what really keeps me going and inspires me is the stories of kindness and the cat lovers I get to connect with all around the world. We all need a bit of hope in the stories that we read each day and that is what Hotels With Cats does. I hope that one day, kind tourism will be the standard that we expect. That we will no longer see homeless cats and dogs on the street, and that every hotel will have a heart.
PS. If you’re a hotel who wants to be featured at Hotels With Cats, drop me a line and say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org