Sisters and former teachers get catty with each other for new venture targeting parts of Erewash

Published on: Wednesday, 26th July 2023
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Clare Smith and Joanne Campbell

Twin sisters from Derby are set to hear the final bell of their 22 year teaching careers to launch a premium cat care business together which is targeting parts of Erewash as well as wider parts of Derby.

52 year year olds Clare Smith and Joanne Campbell are both passionate cat owners and have set up what they describe as a 'cat butlering' service to help people whilst they are away.  They intend to serve the extreme western Erewash villages of Breadsall and Little Eaton as part of their focus on Derby City suburbs.

For the last 13 years, whilst Clare remained in Derby, Joanne has lived with her family in Dubai.  When her sons wanted to return to the UK to do their A’ levels and attend university she knew it was time to pack up the family and move back to Derby to be near her beloved sister Clare. 

Joanne said “Clare and I are 52 now and although we thought we would be teachers forever, but we knew it was our destiny and we are both super excited to be starting this brand-new business venture together.  

As someone who has had to leave my cat multiple times when I returned to the UK, I know just how hard it is to leave your cat when you go away.  Clare and I are thrilled that we will now be able to help keep cats happy and healthy in their own homes.”

Clare explained: “Whilst some cats are happy in a cattery, most owners would probably agree that their cats are happiest at home, following their usual routine, lying in their favourite sunny spot and walking around their own garden."

Joanne continued: “Alongside the cat care duties we will also be offering a light touch security service, checking over the home, making sure there are no signs of leaks or break-ins, watering plants, putting the bins in and out and opening and closing windows to give the house an occupied feel while the owners are away.”

The twins are well versed in pampering cats, as they own three between them, Molly the Ragdoll, Bluebell a Maine Coon and Pearl a Russian Blue. Pearl was flown back to the UK from Dubai and driven, like royalty, by taxi by to her new home in Derby. Joanne said: “The taxi turned up and it was empty except Pearl, in her carrier, looking like the Queen that she is.”

The sisters have yet to decide how to divide up the labours on their daily visits: Claire said: “One of us will be on litter trays and the other will be on cuddles and playtime but we’ll swap around regularly, and the great thing is, if one of us is sick there’s always the other one to carry on, so owners have the added insurance of knowing somebody will always be there.

She concluded: “Although we won’t actually be serving our clients their dinner on silver trays, we will most certainly be ‘cat’ering to their every whim.”

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