Meet Apollo: The Cat Behind Cat Wine

September 9, 2016

Apollo Posing with The Pinot Meow


Apollo. Where to start?


Long before the Cat Wine frenzy of 2016...even before the online cat memes that plague the interwebs to this day...lived a newborn grey chartreux in the streets of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Apollo was rescued in the summer of 2007 by his owner Brandon Zavala (Founder and President of Apollo Peak). As a newborn, he spent his days frolicking through his new household; a small, brick ranch home purchased by a new college graduate hoping to capitalize on life and love. He would be the loving addition to a new owner, oblivious to the outcome his life would take throughout the ten years prior to the launch of a global phenomenon that would bear his name. 


Apollo as a Kitten


"The grey cat," as he would be known to the friends and family of his owner, would make many new friends throughout his early life. He would quietly engage new additions to the household - dogs and cats alike - as well as posses a very charming ability to casually engage humans into cat massages, warm embraces and yes, subsequent food. This personality trait would help build him up to be a very strong "humanizer" as one observer would call him. It was this trait, as well, that led his family to believe was the reason he survived such a long experience that would dominate a greater portion of his early life.


A Story Worth Noting


In the Fall of 2009, the inevitable happened. After a period of silence, it was noticed that Apollo had not been seen around the house for some time. But the worry was treated lightly. It was not uncommon for him to take a gamble into unknown places of the household as he did many times before. And besides, even if cat's leave the home, their sense usually brings them back to the doorstep within a few hours. It was nothing to worry too strongly about just yet...but after the first three days, the disintegrating feeling of hope wore thin.  


Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. A dark gloom crept over the household as the winter months went by without a sign of hope. The love and companionship that flourished for two years was crushed as the neighborhood flyers withered away in the snow packed months of December and January. Apollo was lost in the unknown.


One could never understand the pain created by years of absence without ever being present in the situation. Apollo became a distant memory after two years exodus, but he was never forgotten.  Many conversations bear his name and the sense of his existence in another life wore heavy. This is why it was not without coincidence, that Apollo's name would come up in another conversation - a situation that would make any cat lover smile.


It was a phone call ringing through from the local Animal Control that was odd, but nonetheless taken. As quick as the phone was answered, a voice on the other side would became stern:

Is this Brandon?"


"Okay, we have your cat Apollo here. You need to come pick up him."


Yes, Apollo was found about two blocks away from his home - two years to the day he disappeared and with the brazen luck of a microchip embedded in his neck when he was adopted. The explanation that he had been gone for so long created excitement on the other side of the line - so much so that the trip to the shelter was full of excitement and chills.


A crowd would ensue around the memorable moment...Apollo and Brandon were reunited. As the shelter employees began to cheer , Apollo would not only embrace his lifelong companion, but begin a sequence of moans that would forever be known as his "I've been saved" call.


Apollo shown the day he was rescued from the shelter in November, 2011


Once home, it was contemplated among peers what had happened. Where did he go to? Why had he not returned sooner? Did someone take him in? Did they even see the "lost cat" flyers smeared throughout the city? This might be something we may never know...but the card has been dealt that Apollo attended a school for wine making - and specifically for cats. That's the story and we're sticking to it..


In any case, Apollo has been through a lot and without noting his experience in those absence years, it would be difficult to understand why he means so much to his family and the company as a whole. His lackadaisical attitude towards anything other than compassion is certainly a trait of his breed - but is welcoming for those who meet him. So, please, enjoy meeting our Chief Feline Officer and leave us some comments below.


Apollo relaxing alongside a bottle of The Pinot Meow 


 Apollo sipping on The Pinot Meow


 Apollo's typical "pet me" stance


Apollo cleaning up after the photoshoot 


Cheers, AP