DENVER, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A new Lincoln County salon exclusively for cats might make dog lovers may hiss at the notion, but the owner says it’s a much-needed service for notoriously narcissistic pets.
“A lot of people think cats are independent or aloof, but they still have needs just like a dog. And [Cats] are definitely healthier when they are kept clean,” said Adrienne Kawamura, owner of City Kitty Grooming in Denver.
Cats can be as loveable as they are unpredictable, but over the years Kawamura has learned to embrace their “cattitude” with deep affection as she snips, brushes, and cuts.
We caught up with her while bathing her Persian, Khalani.
“C’mon, you’re going to get your bubble bath now,” she told Khalani.
Kawamura opened the local City Kitty location last month.
“I had the first cat grooming salon in the nation in August of 2000,” she said of her first location in Seattle.
Last month, she set up shop at a second storefront in Lincoln County. It’s in Denver off N.C. 16 Business, across from Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
She knows felines all too well.
“These are one of many boxes of ribbons,” she said, showing us just one of many bins containing ribbons from competition. “This is what got me hooked on showing cats, because once you come home with some of these big ones. These are Best Cat awards.”
Over the years, her Persian cats have won hundreds of awards, including national honors from the Cat Fanciers Association in the mid-90s.
“Cat grooming is really an art. So it’s a challenge to create this work of art and then bring it in and have it rewarded. So much of it is the grooming,” Kawamura said.
One of her most prized cats was Rhett Butler, the prize-winning cat that inspired a tattoo on her arm.
“[It] kind of reminds me to never give up,” she explained.
A drawing of that dearly departed cat is the logo for the business she wants to franchise.
Adrienne has always adored pets. She says she was physically and verbally abused as a teenager and was homeless for two years. Cats and dogs gave her an emotional escape.
“I’ve just always viewed animals as a kind of a safe space,” said Kawamura. “They’re dependable, unlike a lot of humans that I’ve come to know in my lifetime, and they just give you a sense of comfort, and they’re always there for you.”
That’s why her work is her comfort zone. To put a bow on it, felines gave her love when she needed it most.
“They just mean the world to me,” she says.