COOL CATS LOVE THAT OLD TIME ROCK AND ROLL
If you ask seven-year-old Elle Maul what she wants to be when she grows up, the answer is immediate—a rock star and a veterinarian. It’s likely that the rockin’ inspiration comes from home; indeed,
the Maul family pets answer to musical monikers, including a cat named
Jackson, after Michael Jackson, and Seger, a Bernese mountain dog, for
The role models for Elle’s veterinary ambitions, however, just might be
the owners and staff members of The Cat Connection, where her parents,
Jennifer and Adam Maul, have been shopping for the past 18 years.
The couple discovered The Cat Connection when Jennifer, then a student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, found herself adopted by a
cat and promptly christened him Britney, for pop singer Britney Spears.
“We didn’t know anything about cats; we thought he was a she,” Adam
The once feral cat had most certainly never been groomed, and the
couple sought to ensure a calming, enjoyable experience for their new
“We wanted to take him to the best groomer in Dallas, and The Cat
Connection was recommended,” he says. “We met with the previous
owner, learned of more-nutritious food options, and the rest is history.”
While Britney has since passed away, Jackson continues the pamper-
ing tradition, relishing his visits with Priscilla Rodriguez, co-owner of The
Cat Connection, for the occasional spa-day indulgence.
“When Jackson comes home from a grooming appointment, he walks
out of his carrier and just lounges on the floor, totally relaxed,” Maul says.
The whole family values the atmosphere, the knowledge and “cats
first” gospel of The Cat Connection. This feline caring manifests in many
forms, and is a quality that keeps the Mauls coming back.
“Errin and her staff do a great job in providing nutritional education,
or information about issues such as declawing or scratching behavior,” he
says. “I’ve seen them send people home with sample cans of a better cat
food to try. They are really all about making sure the cats are well taken
The focus may be cats; however, the same level of concern applies to
“Seger is allergic to fowl, and Errin put together a package of three
different food selection recommendations, which we shared with our
animal allergist,” Maul says.
The store maintains a supply of Seger’s food, and the Mauls appreciate
the comfort of knowing his special fare will always be in stock.
This pet-first credo extends to critters in need. For example, when the
Dallas area experienced flooding in 2015, The Cat Connection flung open its
doors to victims of the deluge.
“Local rescues were able to bring their cats and dogs to The Cat
Connection for a safe harbor from the flood,” Maul says.
The facilities also stood at the ready for animals displaced when
Hurricane Harvey struck the Houston area, he adds.
Young Elle loves to visit the in-store cat adoption facilities. However,
the youngster hits her future-veterinarian stride and hones her bedside
manner at the Cat Cafés.
“She unofficially helped out at the Cat Cafés,” he says. “She came to
play with the cats, but if she noticed a guest eyeing a certain cat, she’d
approach and say, ‘That would be the perfect cat for you, he’s so kind,’ or, to
another, ‘You should come over here and see Snowball!’”
The Mauls’ affinity for The Cat Connection runs deeper than the idea of
supporting a local business or the knowledgeable, helpful and friendly staff.
It’s also about watching their young daughter interact with cats and the
staff of her favorite establishment.
“Elle is a real force of nature and just loves to drop by The Cat Connection,” Maul says.
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