You’re only open 3 hours a day. So what do you actually do?

Rosie Mapplebeckcattery, Specialcats News

repairing concrete at Specialcats of Ayr
repairing concrete

so what do you do with all your spare time?

Good question. Opening morning and evening 7 days a week allows people access to us to suit most (we evolved these times round people’s and cats’ needs) and allows us to work round child care, pet care, shop and vet hours.

We have always been open at other times by arrangement, its rare we cannot manage that. If you read on you will see why we need that notice.

Regular hours gives us structure to our day which is important to us and to the cats. Being able to predict what will happen lets them settle in more easily.

We have done a ‘day in the life’ before on newsletters but here is a flavour:

Daily operation of the cattery takes 3 of us, though you may only see one person at a time. Thats because there are so many tasks to do. Generally Rosie does the customer contact, main cat care, medication, art and media work. Alan and Katie cover for her to get some breaks and they do maintenance tasks.

Each 24 hour period is similar, though the timing adjusts with available daylight level. Each day has different challenges. Our starting point will be 6pm, when we review the progress of the day and plan for the next several. So thats not the end of our day, just the start!

6-7pm, review, plan, have a break and tea.

7-8.30pm clean vacated chalets, ready any needed for next day with appropriate paperwork.

Water plants, do some gardening since the honeybees are less active and we bother them less. Do some cattery painting or sealant repair work. Ensure invoices are ready. Check bank, social media, emails.

9.30-11pm do cat bedtime routine, any medications. Check hens are in.

11pm personal time now

8am personal pet time, coffee, writing

9am team brief on day’s tasks. We do this 1:1 as learning difference makes it more efficient to communicate to the style of each member. Many who work with animals are highly sensitive individuals, often well into the autistic spectrum. We are no exception.  Morning cat routine, morning construction and maintenance tasks (keeping as much noisy work as possible away from the animals).

10-12 Customer collection,  delivering and viewing time. If its people-quiet do cleaning tasks then.

12-1 emails, phone, social media check. washing, assembling cat laundry as ‘packs to go’.

1-2 Lunch break. Online/ phone orders for food. Shopping list for local supplies.

2-43.0 vet or cat delivery trip/ shops/ write/ garden/ clean if too busy earlier/ paint/ fix/ personal time if any left, collect kids from school and feed them!

430 start afternoon cat routine


5-6 visiting people join the afternoon routine

6pm review time again

The observant will spot that personal time is cramped into small slots so becomes pretty precious. Obviously we can cover for each other to take time out to see family occasionally or have a night off or go to a night class. We each have voluntary work in the community to do too and somehow it all gets done. Because we plan. So thats the plea, please help us keep our

day smooth.