Why I Love to Talk About My Cats: Dr. Karyn Tells Us More

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Hi, I’m Dr. Karyn! Read my introduction to learn more about me and meet my five hilarious cats: Clutch, Cyril, Alex, Zelda, and Zazzles.

Anyone who knows me knows not to ask me about my pets unless they have an hour or two to spare. Between stories about my five cats, five dogs, and how my five cats interact with my five dogs, there’s a lot to talk about!

There’s Clutch, the vacuum-loving former stray who seems to identify as a dog, stealing food from the chihuahuas, curling up with a labrador or two, and acting terribly put out when he gets rounded up with the other cats.

Alex and Cyril, who we lovingly think of as Scully & Hitchcock from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, with their unfailing love of food and naps. Zelda the princess, who shamelessly throws herself at Bailey the lab, and finally Zazzles, who most people think we’ve made up, as she only appears between the hours of midnight and 7am. With this many pets living under one roof, there are always stories to tell, with the most interesting thing being that they all get along, most of the time.

Zelda, Zazzles, and Cyril, working hard
Zelda, Zazzles, and Cyril, working hard

Having been a practising veterinary surgeon for over thirteen years, there’s not a lot I haven’t seen, but I think that the things I have learned from my own cats have given me more insight, knowledge, and experience than any course, conference, or lecture could provide. Seeing firsthand how hard it is to keep a cat quiet after surgery, how to help a new cat join an existing group, and witnessing all the little idiosyncrasies that are unique to each individual, has done so much more than just entertaining me and making me happy. It has made me a better vet.

Being able to talk about my own cats; my stories, my frustrations, my successes, and my failures, means that I can understand my patients better, and advise their owners from a place of personal experience. As vets, we all learn the theory, but not all of us get to live it.

Clutch and Poppy
Clutch and Poppy

I have to admit that it also made things harder sometimes, seeing my own pets reflected in my patients, being able to picture myself in their owner’s shoes, especially when it comes to the tough cases, the sad outcomes, and the difficult decisions. But something happens to a person’s face when you ask them to talk about their pets, and I know it happens to mine as well.

One of my favorite parts of my work happens during one of the saddest parts of my work. It’s when a memory, a story, or funny anecdote pops up, like a ray of sunshine in the darkness, and seeing tears turn to a smile, even just for a moment, that shows just how powerful our stories are, and that we should keep on telling them.

Naptime with Cyril and Ned
Nap time with Cyril and Ned

I feel so lucky to be able to share my home and my life with these fascinating furry characters. Their antics improve my world, my mental health, and my daily life, and the more I learn about them, the more I am able to share with all of you. And I will continue to share them with you, and I hope you’ll share your stories with me.

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