Spot the Shop: Cats Cradle remains open under new ownership

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News
Michael and Kim Robinson recently purchased Cats Cradle, a cat boarding facility.

The Robinson family had no intention of moving when Kim Robinson saw a post on the Facebook group Asheville Cat Weirdos.

The former West Asheville family moved to Black Mountain to purchase Cats Cradle, a cat boarding facility previously operated by Donna Chainas and Bruno Ociepka, and its associated home.

“Someone posted about this couple that was retiring and they’re selling the house, but they’re only going to sell to someone that’s going to take over the business and be cat lovers,” Kim Robinson said. “I just loved the idea. We just came and looked at the house and it just made sense for us.”

She said the four-bedroom house fits her family perfectly. Self-described “cat people,” the family, including her husband Michael Robinson and two sons, have four cats of their own and have fostered many more.

Kim Robinson said Cats Cradle was started in 2015, but she and her family reopened the business Feb. 1.  

The facility has 11 rooms for cats to stay. Each room comes with heated floors and a large window for cats to peer out of. Although the cats do not mingle, they are allowed to come out of their rooms at least twice a day to explore the common area.

“A lot of times with cat boarding, they’ll be in a little box or cage and there’s dogs around,” Kim Robinson said. “A lot of them aren’t cat specific and there’s nothing like this where they have their own room with the view.”

Cats Cradle offers 11 rooms, each with a window and heated floor.

Michael Robinson said Cats Cradle already had a good reputation, and when he passed out flyers to local veterinarians, he said he found an excitement that the boarding facility would remain open.

Kim Robinson said she had also been thanked for keeping the business open. She said she hopes to continue the good reputation of Cats Cradle and maybe even expand. The previous owners would sometimes have to turn people away, she said.

Both Kim and Michael Robinson said they have been enjoying exploring their new town in Black Mountain and have felt nothing but welcomed, both in business and in their personal lives.

“We’ve been looking for just something different to do,” Kim Robinson said. “This is like a dream job to just take care of kitties all day long. For me, it’s amazing.”

Kim Robinson said the biggest success they have seen so far is being able to continue the work of Chainas and Ociepka. Looking to the future, Michael Robinson said he hopes to continue this work.

“We just fell in love with the business and the idea,” Michael Robinson said. “I’m just super excited to be able to carry this forward.”