Featured CATalystas: Michael Leung & Melony Lee
A CATalysta is a person or organization that celebrates and champions the cat!
Who would be more fitting to talk to during National Animal Safety and Protection Month than the founders of the safest pet company? As we promote the conversation surrounding pet safety and encourage each other to take steps like volunteering and taking preventive safety measures, we can be inspired by the Sleepypod co-founders who created a whole company to keep their cat and everyone else’s pets safe! They are husband and wife duo Michael Leung and Melony Lee, and their Sleepypod pet carriers are responsible for saving pets’ lives in car accidents. These stories are what push them to innovate and work toward creating better products every day – so how did this all get started?
Michael Leung and Melony Lee became interested in animal welfare in 2004, when they first adopted their Bengal cat named Rawl Rawl. The traveling pair wanted to create a way for their furry companion to safely and comfortably come along on their trips – and they did! They co-founded Sleepypod with Rawl Rawl as muse, Michael Leung as lead product designer, and Melony Lee as lead visual designer. They’ve grown in number over the years, especially expanding their product design department to create innovative, in-house prototypes that are saving pets’ lives. They even created the first ever crash-test cat named CLEO who tests the safety of their products to the highest degree of child safety.
Amidst all of the growth and innovation, the heart of Sleepypod remains the same. Rawl Rawl works diligently as their “Chief Pet Officer,” taking part in phone conversations when they are working from home (“voicing her opinions,” as Michael and Melony explain) and sleeping in her round Sleepypod mobile pet bed every night. She’s a loving and close companion, always wanting to be near her owners and batting around mini plush balls with all four paws, but also taking care of herself independently and staying very neat and clean when she’s home alone.
It’s amazing that this one little cat’s bond with a caring and innovative couple inspired a whole company that has improved so many pets’ lives. In addition to travel safety, Michael and Melony recommend annual checkups for your cat, pet insurance, and acclimating your pet to their carrier before heading to the veterinarian for a less anxious cat and a guaranteed smoother veterinary schedule.
Rawl Rawl is the happiest when she is with Michael and Melony on road trips. When she isn’t traveling by airplane, walking on fresh snow in Prescott, visiting the Grand Canyon, or walking on Sedona red rock, Rawl Rawl loves hiding in one of her bookcases at home. This Halloween, Rawl Rawl will be safe and cozy at home, greeting some of the trick-or-treaters.