The Ginger Cat Bed & Breakfast has been 'a long time coming.'
It's named after one of my cats, Wally, who came here as a foster kitten and won me and my other cats over with his sweet personality and zest for life. He loves everyone and is very happy when company comes to visit and he's been the best kitty ambassador for all of my B&B guests. Just check out the reviews! Everyone asks me to tell him they'll be back to see him again.
I thought you might be interested in some background history of your innkeeper, me, Gita Devi. I have been involved in animal rescue for most of my life, became a vegetarian in my mid 20's and have been vegan for over 22 years.
I worked in the Corporate World as a business consultant, web site designer and technical writer for many many years. I've worked in the home remodelling trade doing carpentry and painting. I'm into crafts and cooking and gardening. I'm also a certified Yoga/Meditation instructor. I lived in a Yoga community for many years and helped run the kitchen. It's there that I honed my vegan cooking skills.
When the technical bubble burst, I was one of the ones laid off and this allowed me to reassess what I wanted to do in life.
I started my web design business targeting local animal rescue groups and shelters and small businesses. That led to my being asked to join the Board of Directors for a local cat rescue group, taking on the task of renovating my barn into an adoption center/spay-neuter clinic and managing the shelter.
When a friend mentioned that Farm Sanctuary in New York had some job openings I submitted my resume and heard nothing for 6 months. Then the call came. I went, interviewed and was offered a job in the Education Department, overseeing the annual Walk for Farm Animals, helping with event planning, conducting farm tours, helping with the B&B cabins and working in the gift shop.
Within 4 months, I sold my house in MA, bought a house just north of Watkins Glen and moved myself and my cats.
All was well, but 2007 was a difficult financial year for Farm Sanctuary and they were forced to cut staff. Being the most junior in the department, I was let go.
So - again I was at a cross road. (That's kind of funny since the next street over from me is Cross Road.) I knew that moving back to MA wasn't an option - just too expensive. Plus I really love this area and have made many good friends in the local vegan/animal community. And I volunteered at Farm Sanctuary, helping with weekly animal health checks for many years until the B&B took up more time. My heart is there, with the animals. I am now a Board member of the Schuyler County Humane Society and help out during our spay/neuter clinics and events and handle much of our social media.
I also knew that my house would make a perfect B&B and that was one of the things I liked when I bought it.
So - paintbrush and power tools in hand, I started making renovations to the bedrooms, bathroom and sunroom. I'd already fixed up the deck and have been creating a garden oasis since moving here. I put in a large veggie garden and my B&B guests and myself have been reaping the bounty.
Well - there you have it. I look forward to meeting you when you come and stay with me.