Pets help us cope with many of life’s major events. Like little Oreo, who helped her owner Liz cope with separation and all the divorce tears! Not only that, but Liz’s cats have helped her set up a business or two! Her’e Liz’s story about Oreo and her other cats and I asked her to take us through her journey…

My name is Liz and I’m 30 years old. Last year in April I separated from my husband. I spent 1 month living with my sister and the first day I was going to live on my own, I went to the RSPCA and adopted a kitten.

My little Oreo soaked up months and months of divorce tears and gave me a reason to get up every day. I wouldn’t have made it through without him. A few months later I adopted a second cat, Apricot. Both have been by my side while I built up two businesses. I’ve just adopted a third cat, Heidi. Life wouldn’t be worth living without them <3

How did you feel at the time of the separation?
I felt devastated, sad and so disappointed that I couldn’t do ‘for better or worse’. I was mourning the loss of my marriage, the life we shared and then my life totally lost all meaning.
What made you think about getting a kitten? Had you owned cats before?
I had 4 cats growing up, as well as 2 dogs. I’ve loved cats as far back as I can remember and always want to adopt my own as an adult but my husband wouldn’t agree because we lived in a unit.

How did your cat help? Company? Empathy? Warmth?
Yes to company, empathy and warmth, something to come home to, something to make me smile, bring entertainment, comfort, a connection with a living create. Suddenly living alone was much easier with Oreo, I rarely felt alone.

Did you expect other cats to enhance your life more?
Being on my own meant having to work extra-long hours to make ends meet (it’s so expensive being single!!). I could tell Oreo was lonely during the day when I was away so I wanted him to have a friend. Heidi was a special rescue, I knew the lady that was fostering her before she could be put up for adoption and I just had to have her. All 3 have definitely enhanced my life – a constant stream of affection and entertainment. They are hilarious when they play together.

How many more cats do you plan to have?
3 is my limit (although I’d actually love to have more!) They only want to eat premium kitty food, so I have to stop to keep the grocery budget under control.

At what stage did you decide to set up a pet business?
Vivid Marketing began in May 2016, which was the month straight after the separation. It was a way to make extra money on top of my full-time job and it ended up being the perfect distraction and even became my full-time job in September 2016.

The idea for Cat Lovers (cat-themed mugs) came about just before Christmas while I was working at home and drinking coffee. I knew I wanted to create a business around cats because I love them so much. I designed 8 cat-themed mugs and found a supplier to create them. I’d love to expand the online store to include other cat-themed products/gifts and even cat products. All in good time.
Liz J, Sydney
My Instagram is dedicated to my cats too: @catloversaustralia.