in the beginning, there were cats
Hi! I'm Pip, founder of Canterbury Tails, and that's me to the left with my childhood best friend; Tigger.
Just a few years before that photograph was taken, in 1995, I was born into a household with four cats, which inevitably sparked my love for fabulous felines and my eventual identity as "crazy cat lady". Growing up, my household was always filled with cats, at times having up to six. Little did I know that this amount would be considered rookie numbers in the future.
when in doubt, cat
In 2018, while half way through a degree in computer animation, something clicked, and I realised that owning my own Cat Café was the purrrfect future for me. Among other things, it combined my love for cats, cooking, coffee, crafts, and Canterbury.
Having worked closely with my student union throughout uni, landing roles as freshers crew leader multiple years in a row and being voted in as student ambassador, I already had love for and experience in event planning and team leadership. This drive to do something community-based, paired with my love for crafting and making, deepened with skills in graphic design from my animation course, and passion to work in a creative, self-led role, and love for animals, all added up to one thing for me: Cat Café. This was solidified even more when I suddenly lost my RBF-queen, my best friend of 12 years, Sokki, late 2019. I planned the original name of Canterbury Tails to be Sokki's Place, in her honour.
After graduating from university in June 2019, I focused on making Canterbury Tails a reality, while also working up to three jobs at times and navigating through the global pandemic of 2020.
the purrfect property
It took over 13 months of property searching and viewings, but I finally found the perfect location for Canterbury Tails. The requirements for the property were very specific because multiple integral operations of the venture hinged on finding a property that would suit the welfare of the cats, which has and always will be the primary focus at Canterbury Tails.
In 2021, renovation works began on the property to revitalise this beautiful historical building in the city centre into the Cat Café I had envisioned years earlier. Unfortunately, unexpected setbacks occurred during the renovation works, leading to the postponing of Canterbury Tails' launch and opening date, but we persevered through it all, knowing the outcome would be worth all the extra stress, time, cost, and work.
the new cats in town
Four and a half years after conception we had a breakthrough, and Canterbury Tails opened 29th May 2023. I'm so overjoyed to finally be able to share my dream with fellow feline enthusiasts, and am so thankful to every single person who has helped me along the way. I never would have got here without the help and support of my wonderful friends and family, and now too my amazing Canterbury Tails team!