I knew I wanted to heal animals ever since the first time I tagged along with my mother to take the family cat (an apple-headed Siamese named Pyewacket) to the veterinarian back in 1967. My road to becoming a doctor has been long and winding, starting with night classes at Grossmont College in 1982, and finishing with the granting of my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2017 from LA’s Western University of Health Sciences. At fifty-six years old, I was the oldest member of my graduating class, and I was also the only veterinarian with forty-plus years of experience as a cat owner and client of veterinary services, bringing a unique perspective to veterinary medicine that you have never experienced before: someone who fully understands what it’s like to be in your shoes.
I have never been without a cat in my care, and those kitties have required veterinary services at times when my credit cards were maxed out, as well as when my bank account runneth over. I also understand that intelligence is meaningless when someone starts spouting off doctor words at you and talks about physiological processes you don’t understand. As a veterinarian, I am committed to providing the best care possible under all circumstances, always ensuring that you understand what is going on inside your cat, what we know, what we don’t know, and how to get the best result possible.
I have dedicated my veterinary practice to cats because my experience has shown that many veterinary practices simply aren’t set up to provide a good experience for cats. It can be as simple as having barking dogs everywhere, or as awful as having staff who would really rather not deal with cats—I saw it all while working in dozens of otherwise well-respected practices during my veterinary school externship rotations—and I'm committed to providing your cat/s with the best possible experience. Maintaining a calm and peaceful atmosphere, low-stress handling, and believing that as part of the family, cats deserve to be treated as such, ensures that your cat will receive the best care.
I also strive to offer the best healing modalities available, which are not limited to Western medicine. I am now able to integrate Eastern healing philosophies into my practice, including the Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) modalities of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, essential oils, homeopathy and energy work.
Unfortunately, in Western medicine we are often faced with negative “side effects” from pharmaceuticals and other treatments that are more harmful than the symptoms they are used to treat—I am dedicated to “first doing no harm” and will always seek the safest and most effective healing modalities for your beloved cat. My long-term plans include building a cat-only hospital facility where I can offer full surgical, radiology, laboratory and boarding services to my clients, but I believe that most of a cat’s veterinary care truly belongs within the home setting, so my mobile services will always be the core of my practice. Until then, I have privileges at Animal Outpatient Surgery of San Diego should additional diagnostics or surgical intervention be necessary.
It's also been my dream to do whatever I could to help all children, no matter their socioeconomic status, realize the joy of cat guardianship, and learn about the veterinary profession. Cat people are the best, and it usually starts with cat companions in childhood and learning to be responsible for another living being. But while cats are pretty good at wandering into our lives often at little or no up-front cost, proper veterinary care is never cheap. I'm proud to say that I've never taken a paycheck since starting ZenCat, and instead use any "profits" to offset the costs of providing low or no-cost veterinary care to families who could not otherwise afford it. I officially organized ZenCat as a non-profit corporation in 2020, and have received 501(c)(3) status from the IRS, so I can accept donations and increase the time I can spend providing veterinary care to kitties in need (and exposing their young owners to the awesomeness that is veterinary medicine.)
My biggest dream of all is to have ZenCat Holistic House Call vets available in every city across the country and around the world, but global domination takes time. However, if you're a veterinarian dedicated to the practice of feline medicine, and you'd like to contribute to a sea change for your patients veterinary experience, and you've made it this far through my bio, then contact me and let's change the world!
If my healing philosophies are what you’d like to see for your precious kitty/kitties, please take a few minutes to complete my New Patient History Form and COVID form. I will contact you to set up an appointment, or use the button below to access our online booking area.
I am a native San Diegan. I live in Escondido with my husband, Russell, and our five cats: Neo, Starscream, Chief, Khaleesi, and Spike. In my spare time I volunteer with the San Diego Feral Cat Coalition providing free spay and neuter surgeries to the homeless cats of San Diego County.
My Professional Affiliations
- American Association of Feline Practitioners
- American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
- International Veterinary Acupuncture Society
- College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies
- Veterinary Medical Aromatherapy Association
- Cornell Feline Health Center
- Association for Truth in Pet Food
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- Veterinary Information Network
- California Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps
- USDA Accredited Veterinarian – Category II – I am able to write Health Certificates for interstate and international travel for any species
- I am licensed to practice in California and Nevada