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  • Writer's pictureMichael

From Career Techie to Handy Craftsman…

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

"I’m interested in converting my existing outdoor patio to an enclosed catio. Is this a type of job that you could do?"

‘Hmmm…’ I thought to myself; ‘I’ll bet I can figure that out…’

It was about mid-way through the second year of my second career - small business owner of Helpful Hands Handyman Services - when this unique customer request came in from Diana.

My response was simple: ‘You had me at Catio…’

As we worked our way through the design and build process, we talked about the prospect of being selected to participate in that year’s Catio Tour, only a few months away. We enjoyed talking about how cool it would be to pivot the business to specialize in creating ‘bespoke Catios’ (her word; I can admit - I had to look it up!) Ultimately pleased with the results, the way Umi and Fen instantly took to their new, SAFE, outdoor environment was truly inspiring.

I continued with Handyman work, and kept thinking about Catios. Then came a small ‘Condo’ build for a previous Handyman client and her kitten ‘Cisco’. And then, at last, some home-cookin; a corner window unit that graces my office at (now) Catio Craftsman Worldwide HQ, to serve my CFOs - Betty and Wilma. And then, word came…

…Word that we’d been selected for the 2021 9th Annual Catio Tour, and would be the first-ever stop in Vancouver! See the video here.

Since that time, I’ve completed a dozen Catios and have at least that many requests patiently waiting as a result of the Catio Tour 2022.

And while building Catios is a long way from my 30+ years as a technology professional, it certainly is proving to be a fulfilling and truly enjoyable career pivot. Each project represents a new relationship; a new challenge for not just my physical skills, but my creativity and problem-solving talents as well. Add in making fellow cat-lovers happy, while keeping Cats, birds and other wildlife safe at the same time…? Yeah…this is good stuff right here.

I often recall the words of a former Manager: “The harder you work, the luckier you get…”

Feeling pretty lucky these days, I am.


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