Once an international villain by trade, Mr Blofeld now lives a secluded life in the northern Black Forest, where he has been running a highly successful Ayurvedic cat salon for four years. We recently managed to convince him to talk with us about the constant passage of time.
Mr Blofeld, you started what may be the most successful criminal organisation of the modern age and ran it for more than 40 years. This made you a living legend, but you decided to leave your villainous ways behind for good several years ago. Why?
No particular reason; it was more of a feeling that kept growing. The feeling of having nothing left to achieve. Things start to repeat themselves at some point, you know – eventually, you’re just playing the role of yourself. For me, that was the right time to hit the reset button and start over with something new.
That’s when you came up with the idea to open an Ayurvedic cat salon in the Black Forest?
Indeed. After a bit of contemplation, I quickly realised which path I wanted to take – the one I had to take. These wonderful creatures have been with me my whole life, giving me love and assurance during times that haven’t always been marked by empathy and compassion. In short, I owe cats a great deal and now it’s my turn to give something back.
But why did you choose the Black Forest?
My mother – a Blofeld by blood, I should note – spend part of her childhood with relatives here. This was also where she met my father, a butterfly collector whom experts held in high regard. Every year, he dedicated several weeks to performing research in the Black Forest. You might say that I more or less inherited my fascination for this marvellous region.
In just a few years, you’ve turned your salon into a world-renowned institution. Felines from the finest families are practically scratching down your door. How did you make all this happen?
As an autodidact crossing over into a new field, I had the advantage of a certain lack of worry. You simply follow a process of continuous improvement – reading, analysing, experimenting, and scrutinising in constant pursuit of perfection. Believe it or not, there are also some definite ways in which my past endeavours can aid my current project.
How do you mean?
Well, when you take a broad look at perfectionism, it’s not long at all before you realise that it correlates with a keen ability to empathise and think in the abstract.
Rough exterior, but a heart of gold – would you agree with that characterisation?
That’s quite accurate, yes, even if my personal history wouldn’t necessarily lead you to that conclusion [laughs].
Why don’t you tell us a bit about your work routine these days?
My Ayurvedic cat salon is a prominent point of contact for cat owners and lovers of all stripes. Right now, I have four employees and two temporary staff members supporting me in the business. Based on our impressive success and close ties to the teachings of Ayurveda, we also opened a small subsidiary in Goa, India, two years ago. Whether in India or the Black Forest, however, all of our clients ultimately come to us with the same basic need.
And what would that be?
A way to pamper their precious little tigers, from fur care and cat yoga to several weeks of Ayurvedic therapy. The range of services our salon provides is as diverse as it is unique.
But … Ayurveda for cats?
Felines and humans have much in common when it comes to the general principles of Ayurveda; its teachings of the three doshas are universally applicable. Pitta, kapha, and vata represent the fundamental biological energies that maintain the anatomy and physiology of both humans and other animals. This is why Ayurvedic treatment methods are astonishingly effective on cats, as well.
Could you give us an example of what one of these treatments involves?
One of the various services cats really enjoy is a massage with warm herb-infused oil. They can tell when someone is trying to help them relieve their tension and basically do them some good.
Is it true that you recently started selling a line of Ayurvedic care products for cats?
I’ve always approached things in an holistic manner. Along with the corresponding expertise and complex techniques, effective treatment requires the right materials. We thus offer a variety of Ayurvedic oils and specialise in particular in fur care.
What product would you recommend?
A general recommendation wouldn’t even begin to reflect the complexity of the items we offer, and I’m not concerned with how well a given product sells. It all depends a great deal on the breed in question. For a Persian cat, for example, I’d recommend our silky-soft Catschup conditioner, but a hairless breed would be better off with our series of chamomile-based, pH-neutral conditioning oils.
A line of care products, a branch in India, all your obligations to your staff – are you still enjoying this job?
My day-to-day routine might be hectic, but I’m happy to have left my chequered past behind. Today, I’m a different, more fulfilled Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
Mr Blofeld, thank you for taking the time to talk with us.