After returning home from World War 1, Frederick Howard started his first business in 1917, selling fresh meat to cat owners. He used to deliver the meat to cat owners with a pony and trap around the North Kensington area. During those days, many people owned cats in order to keep the mice away. He subsequently called the business Pussy's Butcher which was located on Bevington Road.
The business was purchased from Frederick Howard's son in 1990 and continued to operate for a number of years as a pet shop offering more modern pet products. The shop directly behind Howard Pet Shop was acquired allowing the Pet Shop to now face onto Portobello Road. It was at this point that the shop name was changed from Howard Pet Shop to Portobello Pet Shop.
"My dad Frederick Howard started in business in about 1917 when he came out of the army. He used to deliver cat's meat with a pony and trap all round North Kensington and as far as Kensal Rise. He took over the shop in Bevington Road in 1927. In 1938 we opened a stall in Portobello Road outside the Golden Cross pub be the corner of Lancaster Road. It was like a little hut enclosed all round with a door half way up which opened to reveal a counter. It was a familiar sight for generations of pet owners. My mother Queenie Howard used to run it." - Don Howard
"Everyone seemed to have a cats. People had them to keep the mice down. The cat's meat man used to come around with a basket calling, "Cat's meat!" He'd leave a penn'orth of meat on a wooden skewer under the knocker. The cats used to wait for him." - Doris Gillet