Unlike most vets, I was never quite sure what I wanted to be. Our family always had pets, growing up with a lovely dog and many guinea pigs. Much later in life as a teenager we got our first cat Tigger from the RSPCA, who is the best cat in the world. The interest (and obsession) with cats started there. Most of my family worked and studied in the human medical field, so being a vet seemed like a perfect combination of my medical background and love of animals. After watching a surgery on a work experience day, I was sold.
As a student I started taking my cats to the cat clinic as I was living close by, and after adopting my second cat Minnie from another student. On the same day she was in for her desexing surgery, my other cat Tigger had somehow swallowed a corn cob! I got to watch both surgeries in person which was an amazing experience. I got to witness the incredible cat specific knowledge and skills as I progressed through my course, and it inspired me to eventually work at a feline only practice. I still kept in contact after graduating and eventually a position opened up which I was thrilled to take.
My aim is to get to know each cat’s individual personality and quirks. I love to hear about what silly things they get up to. Through this I aim to provide each owner with as much information as possible to make an individual plan to get their cat feeling their best. I like to make each cat feel as comfortable as possible during my examination. It’s why I like working at a feline only practice where you can see the difference in how relaxed the cats are.
I’ve always lived in the inner east and love living in Melbourne. Currently I live with my partner Dylan and our 2 cats Tigger and Minnie. I’m a little bit obsessed with my cats, always bothering them when sleeping and finding new nicknames to give them. Tigger is the most friendly cat you will ever meet, always offering headbutts, and Minnie is the fluffiest and prettiest girl who loves from a distance. Our 2 are endless sources of entertainment to us. Tigger likes to aggressively play at the edge of the bed while slowly tearing up the bed frame, while Minnie loves to bring her toy directly to us at bedtime every night, meowing the whole way.
Outside of work I play field hockey and coach an amazing women’s team (with a very successful win ratio!). I also like to race my partner in go karts and go out for a nice steak.
Wanting to become a veterinarian is one of the earliest memories I have. I was gifted a pink stethoscope at age five from my grandparents who had a very tolerant domestic shorthair named, “Poulan.” I knew this career was my passion when I discovered that I could help animals by working through medical problems with a fellow-minded team and their pet parents.
It was clear The Cat Clinic practiced a high calibre of medicine and care from the moment I started placement as a vet student. The commitment of the team to do their best for each and every cat that came into the clinic was inspiring. I have always loved cats and those few weeks catalysed a passion for feline medicine. With each cat having their own specific needs, they each require an individual approach and treatment plan to help promote their health and well-being.
My goal in meeting every cat is to understand each cat’s unique personality and how I can help them best. I aim to provide a personalised and high-standard of care for each cat, their parents, and the bond they share. I work hard with my colleagues and clients to accomplish the best possible outcome for each cat I have the privilege to meet.
Although most of my family is back in the United States, I moved to Melbourne with my husband, John in 2013. Within the first month of moving here we adopted our cat, Chaplin. She is a demure black-and-white domestic medium hair who loves to play and take naps in the sun. A few years later we welcomed a corgi named Lana into our home. She quickly adapted to Chaplin being the head of the household and Chaplin has tolerated her canine sibling. Our pets are our family. When we are around them, we are home.
When not at the clinic I enjoy baking and cooking. My partner and I also love to explore new areas of Melbourne both in the city and in nature of the surrounding regions.
Growing up in Africa, I was drawn to all animals domestic and wild. My childhood dream was always to become a game ranger or zoo keeper, but through high school this evolved into pursuing veterinary medicine. My childhood pets, Niki (Siamese), Rupert (Old English sheepdog) & Emily (Fox terrier) were my true inspiration for pursuing this veterinary career. I always remembered going to the vets with them, it soon became my only career choice. I gained entry to the University of Queensland veterinary school in 1994. After graduation, I actively pursued a position with Dr Vic Menrath in Queensland, Australia’s first feline specialist vet. After working with his team for 5 years, I decided to found the Cat Clinic in Melbourne in 2005 with my partner Amy.
I love the cat hospital we have created( our 20th year now), the people that I work with, the amazing cats I care for and the relationship and trust I have built with our clients.I know the bond and love I have for my cats, this is the motivation to continually strive to deliver the best for my feline patients. By caring for a cat’s health & well being, I know I will help promote and prolong the bond an owner has with their cat. I really enjoy caring for every aspect of cat’s life needs, from the routine to most dire health needs. I get tremendous satisfaction in getting to know my patients and clients and their families. It is an inevitable part of the profession that I will lose much loved patients, but in the next generation, I get to continue the lineage of care with my client – this is the most satisfying part of my career.
I am lucky to call Amy – the most brilliant feline vet (and wonderful person) I know, my partner. We share our home with four cats. Stirling is an 12 year old Russian blue, he is truly the most amazing little creature I have ever loved (you shouldn’t have favourites). Stella, a 12 year old “ice queen” oriental who loves to pretend I don't exist. Last year we added a bonkers crazy little Russian Blue girl - JoJo, she's a unique little bundle of neurodiversity. We have just added a beautifully simple, burmese boy called Gino - FOUR is now a back to a complete cat home.
Outside of work, you will find me adding to the frustration of life on a golf course, getting some miles in my kayak on the Yarra or at the gym. I am an avid foodie and consider myself an overly enthusiastic consumer of fine red wines, being especially partial to West Australian Cabernet’s.
When I was a child my favourite toy was a doctor’s bag full of plastic medical equipment, including a stethoscope. My favourite game was to ‘play vets’ and save my family pets (who had to participate whether they liked it or not!). I became more and more passionate about animal care as I got older –also discovering that I loved nature, the sciences, problem solving, and connecting with people. Combining all these interests steered me down the path of becoming a veterinarian.
Cats have always held a very special place in my heart. My first pet, a cat named Bundy (a female ginger), lived until she was 21. I did placement as a veterinary student at The Cat Clinic, and as soon as I met the team, clients, and the fabulous feline patients, I knew it was meant to be. I left saying “That’s it, I am going to be a feline-only vet one day!” The team of nurses, cattery attendants and vets strive to provide the best patient care in every aspect, which is something I value highly. The thing that I love most about cats is that it is important to earn their trust. So, when I meet them in the clinic, I always do my best to be gentle, patient and calm so that they trust me during our time together in the consultation room or hospital. Of course, kitty cuddles and chin nudges are always a goal too.
My husband Ricardo and I share our home with Prada, a white Siamese X. She is my special sassy princess, who will love you immensely one minute and give you attitude the next (a little lioness), but we have a very close bond. We had to say goodbye to Louis, our beautiful elderly seal point cross-eyed Siamese Louis in late 2022. I carry her in my heart every day. We also welcomed a non-fur child in 2022, and her first word was meow!
I’ve always loved animals. When I was growing up we lived close to the beach and there were a number of stray cats that lived amongst the rocks. I’d frequently go down and feed them. We rescued one young cat “Wuzzy” (whose namesake came from “was he” a girl or boy), which became very apparent when she gave birth to kittens a week later. Our Silky Terrier gave birth within the same week, and suddenly we had a fur family of 10! I was hooked, and proclaimed that I wanted to be a veterinarian at the age of 7.
My interest in medicine continued to develop over the years. I was fascinated by an anatomy book that belonged to my father. It had semi-translucent pages that allowed you to construct the human body one system at a time. My father always hoped that I would become a doctor, as he had wanted to be.Mid-way through my veterinary degree I did work experience at the Cat Clinic in Brisbane. I loved the idea of feline-only practice, so pestered them constantly until they offered me a position there 10 months after graduation. After 2 years in feline practice, I decided that I not only wanted to work with cats, but that I wanted to specialise in feline medicine, which led me to undertake a 2-year residency at the University of Sydney. Love ultimately brought me down to the Cat Clinic in Melbourne to be with Richard. I’m a firm believer that all you need in life is love and a cat.Cats are fascinating. Every individual cat has different personality traits. I enjoy getting to know each and every one (and their servant/s!) and gain their trust. In doing so, I hope that I can make their visit as enjoyable as possible, as well as provide them with the exceptional health care that they all deserve.Richard and I are fortunate to share our lives with 4 fabulous felines: Stella (aka Stella Bella), a 11yo female Oriental, that considers herself queen of the household. She loves being spanked hard on the bottom (she will scream at you if you stop!), and is constantly in search of any heat source. Stirling (aka Grey man or Stirly Whirly), an 10yo male Russian Blue that is very loveable and clearly gifted. He loves the simple things in life, from autumn leaves to tuna sashimi. Billie (aka Fatso or Brown cat), an 15yo female Burmese, is the newest addition to the household (and is yet to be accepted by Stella…). She loves cheese, catnip and belly rubs (fortuitously her belly is more than ample!). We recently adopted a 1 year old Russian Blue - Jojo, she hasinjected a level of energy and crazy to the home.
When I’m not at the clinic, you will find me at Pilates, or on the couch with a cat (or FOUR) and a glass of wine. After all, time spent with cats is never wasted (who could doubt Sigmund Freud!).