My name is Jenny Steel and I grew up in Brisbane. I’ve always loved animals and have had pets pretty much my whole life.
For 20 years I worked in Finance and System Support roles within various Queensland Government departments and enjoyed my work but I realised I wanted to do something more fulfilling. In 2012 I volunteered at the RSPCA in the Foster Care department. Although I was still doing administration work it was a totally different atmosphere, somewhere you weren’t looked at funny if you said that you really cared about animals and animal welfare. As, you would expect, working in the Foster department, I ended up being a foster carer. It was a really rewarding experience and I would love to do it again in the future.
My time volunteering really rejuvenated my spirit and inspired me to pursue my dream of a career caring for animals.
When I decided to foster I was very lucky that my 2 existing cats (both adopted) proved to be excellent foster siblings. – Say hello to Squeaky (ginger) and Lyssa (grey)
I retired as a foster carer when I “failed” 🙂 and decided to adopt one of my fosters. Leah is an older girl who, despite some health issues, has more energy than her 2 younger siblings!
Whilst volunteering I was able to undertake several training sessions regarding Animal Behaviour and in 2016, in order to formalise and expand my skills, I completed a Certificate 3 in Companion Animal Studies through TAFE Brisbane.
As a pet owner I knew how stressful it could be trying to find someone to look after my pets when I wanted to go away, especially when they needed to have vaccinations etc. My dream had always been to have a really luxurious boarding facility but then I thought “the luxury would be if the animals could be cared for in their own homes.” This was how the Cats’ Pyjamas was born.
Not long after I adopted Leah I realised she was having some problems maintaining her beautiful coat and she was getting a lot of furballs. I initially had a “lion clip” performed at a vet and, although it was good at the time, I didn’t like the idea of her having to be sedated each time, especially as she was a Senior girl. I looked around to try and find someone who could groom her without sedation but the closest place was almost a 1 hr drive away. This is what sparked my interest in learning to groom cats. Since then I have completed a basic grooming course (as part of my Cert III) and in the last 12 months I have undertaken online training with the National Cat Groomers Institute of America and one on one, hands on training with a Certified Master Cat Groomer/Trainer in Sydney.
I am a member of the NCGIA and am currently studying for my Master Cat Groomer certification