AN animal lover gave up her career in finance to pursue a lifelong ambition.

Sonja Marga has always dreamed of opening a cattery.

"I've had cats since I can remember," said accountant Sonja. "My first memory as a little girl is having a cat sleeping under the duvet with me."

Sonja took over Middlewich Cottage Cattery, a purpose built cattery, 12 years ago, and loves looking after everyone else's cats.

The newly refurbished premises can accommodate 54 cats.

"We get to know each cat individually and take care of your loved ones just like our own cats," said Sonja.

"Once you earn a cat's trust, it will love you unconditionally. Dogs love everybody and are not discriminatory. Cats are personal pets."

Sonya looks after abandoned cats for the RSPCA when their cattery is full. She also cares for cats for residents who are taken into hospital through a contract with the local authority.

Sonya has three cats of her own, Gilly, Maisie and Liquoric,e and has also been caring for two cats for their owner who has not been able to return from Dubai due to travel restrictions.

Loving Sonya is also a foster mum and offers a home to two children at a time.

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The pandemic put her business at risk. But now as lockdown is lifting loyal customers are returning.

"We had no cats since last March," said Sonya. "I really missed them because I love my cats. It was heartbreaking. At the very beginning of Covid I was crying my eyes out as I thought I might have to sell up and leave. I didn't know what I was going to do.

"Now things have started to look up, I'm glad I didn't. I have regulars year after year."

The cattery serves Middlewich, Northwich, Holmes Chapel and the surrounding areas.

"We would still like to offer 20 per cent discount to all NHS staff and care workers in thanks for all your dedication, until the end of the year. "