After high school I attend college, where the “Cat Girl” label progressed into ”Cat Lady” and I continued to be the go to person all the sick or lost cats ended up with. I graduated from college and decided to spread my wings and move to South Korea to teach English for a while. A year turned into three and the best times of my life. While in Korea I got involved with local and national animal rescue organizations and fostered abandoned street cats. Most of the foster cats I would take in were older cats from the streets that had had mostly negative interactions with humans. It would take me months sometimes of patient waiting and coaxing until I could touch them. This work increased my understanding of cats, and made me realize what I wanted to focus on in life.
I returned to America, with my foster failure in tow, and landed in Austin, Texas. I snatched up a job at the Austin Humane Society as an Animal Care Specialist where I learned a lot about refining my methods. I worked with both dogs and cats on behavior modifications and temperament tests. Even in a land of animal lovers I soon became the “Cat Lady” again and am constantly getting asked to help wrangle terrified or aggressive cats, to clean unapproachable kennels, and to help some of our toughest cases to come out of their shells.
Through my life I have drifted from rural farmland to urban city, from the United States to South Korea and back, from the winters of Wisconsin to the summers of Texas, animals, cats in particular, have been a big part of my life. While my business is new and just starting out, I have a lifetime of knowledge and experiences to work from, and finally have decided to fully own my lifelong label as the “Cat Lady.”
I was born into a life surrounded by pets. Pets of all kinds: dogs, cats, chickens, bunnies, horses, lizards, birds, and so on. My beginnings were full of sunshine and dirt, much like the animals I played with at our barn. My early introduction to such a wide variety of animals has given me a chance to spend my whole life learning about animal behavior and why they do the things the do, although I did not realize this until much more recently.
I spent my childhood growing up in the country outside of Milwaukee, WI. My parents were great animals lovers so I was blessed to have a large number and wide variety of pets from the day I was born. When I was 10 I branched out to horses and horseback riding at a nearby stable. I worked at the barn to earn my lessons and soon got a horse of my very own.
I also started to spend a large amount of time with the feral barn cats and their kittens. I learned a lot about how to and how not to approach a scared cat, and what their different body signals were. I would spend hours waiting for a scared kitten to get brave enough to take food from my hands. Though this I gained a real appreciation for how complex cats really were and became known as the “cat girl” at the barn. Any abandoned or injured cat would end up at my endlessly supportive parents house until it was well enough to find a good home.
Kitty Boot Camp