Opening a cattery has been a 20-year-long dream for Brenda Comins and over the weekend the dream became a reality.
Hotel Kitty Boutique Cattery officially opened on Saturday with Waipā Mayor Jim Mylchreest doing the honours and cutting the ribbon.
"This is phenomenal, it's the Ritz Carlton as far as a cat hotel goes. It's a fantastic facility," says Jim.
Family, friends and tradespeople all gathered at the cattery to celebrate.
And the first guest, a one-year-old tabby, had even arrived the night before.
"She's just been so smoochy because she's getting all the attention today," says Brenda.
The cattery is located at 1755 Arapuni Road. Brenda and her husband, Shayne, had their original shed converted for the facility and Versatile helped them out with building a new garage and workshop.
Hotel Kitty Boutique Cattery has the capacity for 72 cats to stay and has been designed to look and feel like a luxury hotel.
Brenda worked with architect Geoff Bird of BirDesign and AD Construction to build the cattery.
As with a lot of other businesses and projects, Covid-19 impacted the build and delayed the official opening by a month.
Brenda, who is from the Wairarapa area, was always inspired by her friend, Katrina, who owns a cattery in the area.
"I've travelled a lot and my cat, Kandy, always stayed with Katrina. The longest time Kandy spent with her was probably three months while I went to Europe," says Brenda.
"I often said to Katrina that one day I would love to have my own cattery, I thought they were so cool."
It wasn't until Labour Weekend 2019 that a spark to actually open one came to Brenda.
At that point Brenda had a rental property in the Wairarapa and was unsure what to do with it.
"My husband's dad said, 'Why don't you sell the rental and build your cattery?'. It was a lightbulb moment, one of those moments where I was instantly like why not?" says Brenda.
After listing the property it sold within five days – "It was meant to be," says Brenda.
Brenda will be working fulltime in the cattery and is most looking forward to being able to help the community.
"I'm feeling a combination of relief that the build is complete, totally happy to be self-employed and really pleased to offer a service that helps both people and their cherished cats," says Brenda.
Bookings are already filling up fast for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Bookings can be made at hotelkittyboutiquecattery.co.nz or by calling Brenda on 07 872 4829.