In the wake of a profound loss, Samantha Hemingway’s life took an extraordinary turn. With newfound purpose and passion, Samantha decided to create a haven for your feline friends. Amidst the beauty of Estepona, Samantha opened the doors to her very own cattery—a home where whiskered wonders reign supreme. Read her story.
Spain has always held a deep fondness for me stemming from family holidays in Bilbao from the age of 6 to coming to the Costa Del Sol for the first time in 1982 with my mum and brother.
After losing my mother, my soul mate, very suddenly in 2000 when we were on holiday in Torreblanca, it made me reassess my life and what I truly wanted. It was very painful staying in the UK with so many memories, so after a year, in 2002, I decided to rent my house out and ask for redundancy from O2 where I held a senior management position. My idea was to give it 6 months to see how it went and I am still here today!
I have been continuously employed in Gibraltar which has definitely kept me ‘grounded’ and my life has evolved significantly in the last 20 years for the better. I have taken the rough with the smooth and tackled life’s challenges with a positive attitude. I have found happiness and contentment for which I am eternally grateful for.
And where are you now?
I have lived in Gibraltar, Palmones, Sotogrande and now spend my time between Gibraltar and Manilva.
This area of Spain has so much to offer with accessible beaches on the Med and Atlantic, every amenity on the doorstep, countryside, mountains and a stone’s throw from Portugal and Morocco.
What was the biggest challenge for your move?
Leaving an extremely well paid and enjoyable job to venture into unknown territory when it came to the employment opportunities and also leaving my brother and friends. I overcame these challenges by staying positive and gave myself a time limit to settle here and find a suitable job – the rest came naturally.
Do you have any advice for Women thinking about making the move?
The most important advice I would share is don’t sell up – give yourself 6 months to see how you feel without making a huge commitment.
Don’t think of it as a holiday but a change in lifestyle and be prepared to compromise!
Tell us more about your life here?
I am a true lover of music especially Soul but my music tastes are very diverse. I am so very lucky to be with my partner who is a professional singer with whom I can share my passion.
I am also a professional DJ and support my partner with weddings and special celebrations which I absolutely love doing.
Music is food for the soul and it brings so many people such joy and well being – I would never be without it.
After working all my career in the ‘Corporate World’ I asked myself what would I REALLY want to do if I could leave my day to day job behind.
For a number of years the answer has been to open a Cattery, Livery or Kennels. I am avid animal lover since being brought up on a farm, and I can honestly say, that my life now mainly consists of spending precious time with my four legged family!
I have become an animal rescuer with a total of 7 rescued cats, a rescued rabbit and a rescued dog!!! Plus two beautiful horses.
After a lot of thought, preparation, blood, sweat and some tears, my partner and I have successfully completed the first phase of our newly opened cattery in Estepona.
We have already had a number of clients trusting us to care for their beloved cats and have received some amazing comments and positive feedback. We hope to move to Phase 2 of the cattery build at the end of the summer.
I feel very fortunate that I have been able to achieve my dream and look forward to building our dream to provide a safe, loving and comfortable environment for your beloved cats whilst you are away.
Something you are grateful for?
I am eternally grateful for having such an incredible Mum who supported, guided, advised and loved me throughout my life, giving me the strength and determination to get to where I am now.
Who would be at your special dinner party?
Johnny Depp – an incredibly warm, funny, a little mysterious and whacky guy (and easy on the eye) who I have upmost respect for his talent and approach to life and especially how he has handled some incredibly challenging and truly difficult situations most recently.
Judi Dench – such incredible talent, down to earth, extremely witty and above all has grown older with grace and natural beauty.
My Mum – who would light up a room as soon as she walked in with her bubbly personality, natural beauty and utter ‘joie de vivre’.
My Dad – the most charismatic person I have ever known in my life – ex SAS, adventurous, loving, protective, fun loving with a sense of humor that would have crying with laughter.
Sir David Attenborough – I could talk to him all night about animals!!!
My partner – of course I would ask him to sing for us!
What’s your secret weapon or accomplishment?
Strength of character, drive to make things happen, my love of music and animals.
Do you have a favourite saying?
Yorkshire phrase which absolutely hits the nail on the head!!!
One thing you had to bring to Spain and could never give away?
My photo albums so many precious memories
Do you have a favourite book, or film?
Such a difficult question as there are so many but if I have to share one for film and book it would be The Horse Whisperer
Something you would tell your younger self?
Go with your gut feeling every time.
Thank you Samantha Hemingway – where can we find out more?
Our Facebook page for the cattery is here