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One day, a kitten walks up to you from out of nowhere, and your whole world changes. That’s what happened to Long Beach, California-based artists Justin and Kristin LaRose. Their days became enriched in ways they couldn’t have imagined, like the innumerable colors that emerge from a rainbow. Daily life is a kaleidoscope of colors in their wood shop, shared with a rescued cat named Grizzly.

A Love for Coffee, Skateboards, Woodworking, and Cats 

Justin LaRose was a barista for 15 years and loves skateboarding. Then, one day, he got the idea to create handles for the coffee machines using laminated layers of recycled boards. That simple inspiration led to full-time woodworking, often using Grizzly Industrial tools. Kristin also creates colorful artwork, sometimes using similar techniques (Sometimes depicting cats!).

Life for the artists changed forever in 2018. That’s when an 8-month-old black kitten stepped out from underneath a car. The kitten, later named Grizzly, meowed sweetly at Justin. As we see all the time, the kitty seemed to know this was his person.

Video via Instagram/Grizzly the Shop Cat

As any kitten would, Grizzly found life at the wood shop with all the stacks of skateboards great fun! And that continues to this day.

“Hide and seek has always been one of my favorite games. I like the seeking part best.”

Grizzly Loves Riding Skateboards and Shoulders

The resident shop cat quickly took a liking to riding skateboards – and Mom and Dad’s shoulders.

Most days, Justin is the one in the shop. And each day, he gets the workday started with lots of Grizzly snuggles. These two couldn’t be closer with constant head boops and kisses!

So Much More Than a Shop Cat

Over time, Grizzly became much more than a ‘shop cat.’ He’s the ‘most epic shop cat,’ CEO, bestie, ‘raddest boss,’ security guard, quality control inspector, and tester, among other important duties.

“This skateboard bench has been Grizzly approved.”

Justin and Kristin LaRose, Grizzly the Shop Cat, Recycled Skateboard Art, Woodworking, Woodturning, Long Beach, California, Black Cats, Rainbow Wood Shop, 6

As an adult cat, he still loves hunting in the playground of broken and wonderfully textured skateboards. And he’s always keeping a watchful eye out, unless, that is, he’s napping.

“Nothing gets passed the best security guard in the business! Ever alert unless he’s completely not, Ha! 🤗🐈‍⬛🖤”

Justin and Kristin LaRose, Grizzly the Shop Cat, Recycled Skateboard Art, Woodworking, Woodturning, Long Beach, California, Black Cats, Rainbow Wood Shop, 3

Like all house panthers, he looks stunning against the backdrop of bright colors, his golden eyes sparkling like gems. And he’s quite the meowdel, too.

“Awww, my handsome lil dude! No shade on Zoolander but Griz has Magnum on lock!”

Justin and Kristin LaRose, Grizzly the Shop Cat, Recycled Skateboard Art, Woodworking, Woodturning, Long Beach, California, Black Cats, Rainbow Wood Shop, 8

“Grrriiizzz in spaaaaaace! Throwing back Thursday to one of my favorite shots of Griz. Looks like he’s entering Ludicrous Speed! 😍🐈‍⬛🚀🍭,” Justin shared.

Justin and Kristin LaRose, Grizzly the Shop Cat, Recycled Skateboard Art, Woodworking, Woodturning, Long Beach, California, Black Cats, Rainbow Wood Shop, 4

The Luckiest Life with a Beloved Black Cat 

Grizzly’s ‘Gotcha Day’ was six years ago, and Justin says he “wouldn’t trade it for the world!”  As we recall, it was Grizzly who got Dad and not the other way around.

“I can’t pretend I’m not one of the luckiest dudes. I’m so grateful… hanging with my bestie on a Sunday and making things out of broken skateboards,” he said.

Justin and Kristin LaRose, Grizzly the Shop Cat, Recycled Skateboard Art, Woodworking, Woodturning, Long Beach, California, Black Cats, Rainbow Wood Shop, 9

Added Value With a Grizzly the Shop Cat

Even though this playful kitty can get a little too close to the work sometimes, he makes each workday infinitely brighter. According to Dad, having a shop cat brings added value to each custom piece!

Justin and Kristin LaRose, Grizzly the Shop Cat, Recycled Skateboard Art, Woodworking, Woodturning, Long Beach, California, Black Cats, Rainbow Wood Shop, 10

“Precise measurement layout with a shop cat should be an Olympic sport or at least noted in the construction of the project for an added value ha! *designed and assembled with cat on premises,+ $300 🤣🐈‍⬛🖤📐,” Justin shared.

Justin and Kristin LaRose, Grizzly the Shop Cat, Recycled Skateboard Art, Woodworking, Woodturning, Long Beach, California, Black Cats, Rainbow Wood Shop, 1

“He likes to get way close to the work lol

Justin and Kristin LaRose, Grizzly the Shop Cat, Recycled Skateboard Art, Woodworking, Woodturning, Long Beach, California, Black Cats, Rainbow Wood Shop, 5

All Work and No Play? No Way!

Throughout the day, there are breaks for snuggles, play, and inspurration rather than a focus only on work and production. Isn’t that how every workday should be? After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Such a silly model for living is useless to all felines, one reason we adore them so much.

And we’re absolutely certain all work and no play puts a giant hairball in the production line. Corporate America could learn a lot from cat CEOs!

Justin and Kristin LaRose, Grizzly the Shop Cat, Recycled Skateboard Art, Woodworking, Woodturning, Long Beach, California, Black Cats, Rainbow Wood Shop, 2

At this shop, Grizzly helps Dad hold down the fort and have more fun doing what he loves most. Sounds like a pretty sweet and rad life. We’re certain Grizzly approves of the colorful life you’ve created together!

You can see more on Instagram at Grizzly the Shop Cat.

“Nobody puts Griz in the corner… 🕺🖤🐈‍⬛❤️”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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