Article Michele Giacomini | Photography Steven Hellon
When mom and grandmother Melissa Shrout isn’t fostering kittens, teaching Jazzercize or leading her hilarious “I Love Lucy” lifestyle with husband Rich Shrout of 38 years, you can find her working for Lyons Realty Sierra Oaks office as a real estate agent.
A long-time property manager and certified interior designer, Shrout decided to roll it all into one a few years ago. “I don’t know how many property manager interior designer realtors that teach Jazzercise there are in the world, but I think that makes me rather unique. At least it gives me something to talk about at a party,” she quips. For Shrout, walking away from any of her careers and interests isn’t an option, so she looks for ways to keep them all going.
One of her passions is fitness. Like her work with property management and interior design, Shrout has been a Jazzercise instructor for 30 years. She’s even a franchise holder and often teaches Jazzercise at the Arden Community Center.
But that’s not all Shrout holds dear to heart, she also fosters kittens for Happy Tails. Shrout explains that she began fostering for the organization when she moved to Arden Park. “At the prompting of my then 10 year old son, we were at the local Petsmart and overheard a conversation between a woman with a box full of kittens and the volunteer. (The volunteer) was explaining they couldn’t take any more kittens because there were no homes to place them in. Well, my son said, ‘Mom, we can do this because they need us’.” She’s been hooked ever since.
Shrout maintains, “Currently I have a litter of four I’m fostering and I have heard rumors that there are at least 40 more waiting in the wings.” The Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary on Folsom Blvd. cares for cats, kittens and even dogs. The organization needs fosters, like Shrout, to be Kitten Moms and care for them until they are old enough to be fully vaccinated, neutered, microchipped and socialized. She mentions, “Personally, I lost track at fostering 60 babies over the last few years. My mantra is “spay and neuter, people!”
What’s maybe more amusing, (and sometimes messy—but never dull), is Shrout’s marriage to Rich. She claims that’s why they compare their lives to the classic “I Love Lucy” show (she even nicknamed her husband “Richie Ricardo”). She shares, “(Rich) works for a local engineering company and has one of those 9-5 jobs I can never really understand. Thankfully he is the solid, steady partner in this relationship. We met when we both lived in Orange County. We moved to Sacramento when he was on a football scholarship at Sac State. We loved it here and never went back.”
For the past 20 years, the two have lived in Arden Park where Shrout is on the Board of the Arden Park Homeowners Association. She gets involved in various events in the parks too. She says, “Some years I’ve sponsored the Movie in the Park for the kids and regularly attend events, like the music concerts, Easter Egg hunts, July 4th parades, etc., that make it such a great neighborhood to be a part of.”
She affirms, “I love the area, my neighbors, and the sense of community. It’s one of the last true neighborhoods in Sacramento.”