Welcome to The Anxious Chiropractor’s blog series that highlights “Cat Moms” and their businesses called Cat Lady Entrepreneurs.
In this blog series, my goal is to highlight local women in business and their cats! Yes, I know not everyone is a cat person, however you have to admit, whatever furry creature we have for a pet has somehow helped us in this adventure we call life.
Today, Rachel Scholten who owns Kneeling Cat Pilates is sharing a little bit about herself as a small business owner and entrepreneur. But also, you will be hearing from Rachel’s two cats, Nestor and Pip.
Read on to learn how Nestor and Pip have been there for her from her battle with Congestive Heart Failure, to starting her own business.
Who are you, what is your business, and what do you do?
I own Kneeling Cat Pilates in Des Moines. My studio is in the Sherman Hill neighborhood, in the oldest row house in Iowa. It was built in 1885, and I love my big windows and high ceilings!
I have two reformers, a ladder barrel, a Pilates chair, and a trapeze table. I love working one on one or in pairs to create a targeted program for each client. No session with me is ever the same, and we use each piece of equipment during the session.
I love working with people who have complex medical histories or chronic illnesses. I am certified in MS, Parkinson’s, and Stroke Pilates modifications. I had a heart transplant seven years ago and love working with cardiac patients.
What are the names of your cats?
I have two cats, Nestor and Pip.
Please ask your cat(s) to describe what it is that their human does for a living.
Pip: "She leaves us alone all day and won't feed me enough, and I run to the door when I hear her come home so I can sit on her chest and make her pet me."
Nestor: "Mom works as a Pilates instructor, a landlord, a soon to be podcaster, and a writer. She works so we can have a better life."
What’s the story of how you met your cats? Please ask your cats if they remember the experience as well.
When I was in college and getting sicker from a childhood infection that led to Congestive Heart Failure, I was dealing with a lot of depression and anxiety. In order to help me cope, I decided that I wanted to adopt a cat.
Nestor was adopted in Iowa City at their municipal shelter. He was roughly a year old when I adopted him. This year marks him being in my life for fourteen years. He suffers from cardiac and spinal issues, but is going strong!
Pip was adopted from Colorado as a kitten. My biggest worry was how he would get along with Nestor, so I created an elaborate plan on how to introduce them over the course of two weeks. That plan lasted an hour before Nestor snuck into my bedroom and began grooming his new baby brother. They have been inseparable ever since. I was told Pip would only be about 10 to 14lbs fully grown. He is currently 23lbs and is more like a dog than a cat.
Nestor: "I was at the Iowa City Animal Shelter, spending my days sulking around the cat room, trying to find someone to pet me. One day, Maddie was getting all up in the business of some woman who came in.
I liked her vibe, so I went over and smacked Maddie in the face to get her away from this lady. Apparently, the woman thought this was the greatest thing in the world, and decided she wanted me. That was 15 years ago, and we've moved a million times, but I always go with her."
Pip: "Ummm, so I was born, had a couple brothers and a sister. They were really annoying! Spent 8 weeks being taken care of by my mom, and then one day, a lady came and picked me up. I was taken to a new place where I met my brother! I like Iowa a lot better than Colorado because I have more room too play!"
Do your cats help you when you’re feeling stressed out or feeling challenged in small business? How so?
Pip has a tendency to know the exact worst time to crawl on my chest or into my lap. He is polydactyl with thumbs, so he can pull things away or towards himself when it’s convenient for him. It allows me to take a pause when I really need it and breathe diaphragmatically.
Nestor helps me fall asleep fast when I’m stressed out. He finds the perfect spot in the crook of my arm to snuggle into, and has the best purr to fall asleep listening to.
Please ask your cat(s) how they have supported you, and continue to support you in what you do as an entrepreneur:
Nestor: "We wake her up every morning before her alarm goes off. Like a few hours before- we want her to get a jumpstart on feeding us for the day. Pip is more direct- he jumps on her chest, where I like to start a conversation with her early in the morning."
What do you think is your strength in small business?
I think my creativity and my empathy. I have been thru a lot of health challenges, and try to really understand where my clients are coming from and how they live. Figuring out their normal movement patterns or tendencies and tweaking them just a little bit over time to help lower their pain is what I really love about Pilates!
Please ask your cat(s) to describe their favorite thing about you:
Pip: She lets us get away with a lot, and always wants us to be happy.
Nestor: She gives us love, attention, and talks to us. She knows what makes me anxious and how to react to me and Pip.
To follow Rachel on her journey with Kneeling Cat Pilates, check out her instagram at @kneelingcatpilates!
Tune in next Friday on the blog, where we will highlight our next Cat Lady Entrepreneur! Are you a cat lady? Are you an entrepreneur? Would you be interested in being featured? Reach out here for more information!