Luna’s big round eyes stare at the van as its owner Majeda prepares to hand it over.
Inside, waiting for the Persian cat, are groomer Femi Moses Olajide and assistant Okwudiri John Ani of Miss Meow mobile groomer, who came to Dubai’s Jumeirah Park.
The service has been operating since 2016 and is based in Al Quoz but also travels to other emirates such as Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain. In addition to cats, he offers grooming sessions for dogs, rabbits and birds.
Miss Meow was born after founder Nadine Salman struggled to find a reliable and appropriate care company for her pets. “I love all animals and their welfare is very important to me,” she says.
Before opening her own business, when she had her cats groomed, Salman used to find that they came home with fungal infections or she found they had been sedated without her consent. The other departments were never on time, which she found frustrating.
It was also happening at a time in her life when the British-Iraqi was unemployed and unsure of what she wanted to do.
After a few life coaching sessions, however, she realized she wanted to do something that would involve her love of animals.
“I didn’t know anything about grooming. I flew to London and enrolled in a cat grooming school. I learned the grooming techniques, the hygiene process, the do’s and don’ts and came back to Dubai after a few months, took a leap of faith and started the business .”
The name Miss Meow comes from a nickname given to her on social media.
“I used to be involved with pet rescuers so my first clients were my friends who had pets and the rescuers I knew also recommended Miss Meow and that’s how it all started” , explains Salman.
These days, Miss Meow has expanded to 10 mobile vans as well as 20 employees. Appointments can be made over the phone or on WhatsApp. Full grooming for an adult cat (seven months old or older) costs Dh275 and includes a bath, brushing and haircut. There are also add-ons that can be purchased.
As the company has grown over the years, Salman is proud of the team she has built. She describes how they have regular meetings to discuss new pet trends and what will and will not work for them.
“Our groomers follow famous grooming schools on YouTube and share their experiences,” she says. “We have a groomer who loves style, so he always puts on bows and scarves or does crocodile haircuts. Another is more of a pet whisperer: he quiets pets when grooming them because he has that power. Yet another is better at dog haircuts and has received excellent training in Malaysia.
“Each of our groomers has a specialty…and they learn from each other.”
Unlike other grooming services, Miss Meow does not calm pets and will use other means to try to make them comfortable in the mobile van. During the session, relaxing music is played and aromatherapy is used. Sometimes groomers will sing for pets.
“We work with our heart. We care about the pets on board and that they are treated well throughout the process,” she says.
Updated: May 28, 2022, 12:20 p.m.