Since opening in 2009, Lea Wood Cattery has now become a family run business since the owner’s daughter joined the cattery in 2014.
Liz Burman, 49, made the decision to open her own cattery in Gainsborough Road, Lea, which she runs with her daughter, Zara, after she took her own four cats to another business in the area and all her cats came back with conjunctivitis.
Liz said: “I was horrified and thought, this isn’t rocket science, it’s basic care and attention.
“We had a bit of land and a nice aspect, I had experience with my own cats and with others from showing my Birman Cats around the country so I thought, why not?”
Liz said the biggest reward from her job is seeing an introverted or aggressive cat leave the cattery much more confident.
She said: “We know then we have done our job well.
“Another reward has been watching the Cattery develop from nothing to more than 600 clients and we have great clients who keep on returning and appreciating all the hard work we put in on a daily basis and our fur-babies who sometimes don’t want to leave.”
But the job also has its challenges.
Liz said: “Some of the challenges we have faced would actually surprise folks.
“We have had everything from cats involved in marital disputes, poorly fur-babies who require specialist care, cat behaviour issues, where we are asked to try and get multi-cat households to get on with each other, long term boarding, specialist diets for overweight fur-babies and helping our clients out with advice as and when necessary.”
Liz has clients from all around the world including London, Cyprus and the cattery currently has three cats who are waiting to go back to Australia in 2006.
From an early age Liz had always wanted to work with animals and her idol was Jonny Morris.
Liz said: “He was a Zoo Keeper at London Zoo and pretended the animals could talk to him.
“But I didn’t think myself clever enough at Maths and Biology to pursue either a career in Veterinary Science or Zoology.
“I was always rescuing birds or abandoned or injured cats although my Mum didn’t like cats so we only had a small chihuahua.
“When I got to 40 I became very despondent with the job I was doing and I was also being bullied in the workplace so I thought I can either put up and shut up or do something about it.”
This year Lea Wood Cattery won the award for Cattery of the Year with the Pet Industry Federation.
Liz said: “It makes all the 14 hours, seven days a week when we are at our busiest totally worth it.
“To achieve this accolade out of 2,000 other Kennels and Catteries is a fantastic achievement for our little cattery.”
When Liz is now working she enjoys the theatre and loves going to shows at The Plowright Theatre and Scunthorpe Baths.
Liz said: “My other love is my environmental side and my love for conservation which I’ve had since I was 16. I don’t wear make-up or put products on me that’s been tested on animals and I support Greenpeace, PETA and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.
“In the past the cattery has also put on an open day to raise funds for Lincoln Cat Care and also The Birman Welfare.
“My other love is horses and although I haven’t ridden for the last 10 years.”
The cattery is currently running a donation bin for Lincoln Cat Care over Christmas.