We are Mark and Di Gallant a ordinary couple living ordinary lives with a true love for animals and the countryside.
We have two Siamese cats and a Shar Pei and they're all spoilt rotten but thats what pets are for is it not ?
Mark is from Prince Edward Island Canada and I am a true English country girl from Somerset and we met in 1998 in Barbados while on holiday.
Mark was a big rig driver in Ontario when we met and we spent most of 1999 trucking all over the USA and Canada together.
Mark has built numerous houses in his past years and has also been a property surveyor, he is very handy on the tools. We have developed many run down properties in the UK and Canada with Mark doing the majority of the renovations himself he is very talented when it comes to construction.
When I am not working on Sophisticated Scratch I work for NHS South Western Ambulance services as an Emergency Care Assisstant ECA and husband Mark is a HGV driver for a well known dairy.
We returned to Barbados and got married in 2000.
The idea of Sophisticated Scratch came from myself after one day I was looking to buy a nice scratch post for our two Siamese cats the same boring designs with the same boring materials kept dominating the market place everywhere I looked.
I thought to myself why are they also ugly and cheap looking when they usually take such a prominent position in the home for all to see, I wanted ours in the lounge.
I did not want the cheap fluffy cardboard structures in our lounge dominating so I started to think about what I could do to avoid the fluffy monstrosities.
After trawling through the internet for hours with no success I had just about given up and went out for a walk with our dog to get some fresh air.
While walking I literally had a eureka moment when I nearly tripped over a piece of fallen oak.
Intriguingly I started to scrape away at the rotten bits with my hands and realised it was solid underneath and I could picture what it would look all cleaned up with some hard work and sisal. I thought if I cant find a nice scratching tree I will make my own, it would be unique as no one else had it only me.
I dragged it home with some odd looks I must say and went to work right away it ended up about half the original size.
It took about 5 weeks start to finish with many mistakes and blisters learning the hard way and I asked the hubby to help me when I got stuck or lost hope but I made it and I loved it.
Over the next while I was getting endless lovely coments on my first ever scratch tree creation and the siamese absolutly love it, people kept saying your so talented and you should start a small business making them, at first I thought people were just being kind and I shrugged it off, but then people started asking me to make them one too.
In 2012 I got diagnosed with ME and in 2017 I really started to notice certain things I could usally do with ease had become harder for me to do. I work for the the NHS on the ambulances only part time now though as I can not manage the demanding nature of the role like I once could.
With spare time on my hands I thought about what people had said to me previously about making scratch trees for others and in Dec 2017 I launched Sophisticated Scratch with the help of my husband.
So here I am sharing my art work with you