I am an animal lover from way, way back. My first pets were earthworms carried in my little leather bike pouch as I toured the neighborhood sidewalks as a child. During Midwest springs, I attempted to rescue baby birds dislodged from their nests. I collected frog eggs in the spring and waited breathlessly for the tadpoles to emerge. I even “trained” a caterpillar to cross a string and brought it in for “show and tell” in 3rd grade. But when my sister Holly was given her very own Dalmatian puppy, I longed vocally for something a little more substantial to love. I described my perfect pet to Mom.
“Mommy, can I have a cat, a long-haired white cat?”
Mom, a sucker for animals herself, created a beautiful portrait of an Angora for a cat breeder (to exchange for a kitten.) Mom was an accomplished fine artist.
But two weeks before the adoption, my sister found two bedraggled, abandoned tabby kittens behind our grade school. I was instantly, irrevocably smitten and begged my mother to allow me to keep them both. “What about the Persian?” She was flabbergasted.
“No, I want these!” Mom did not argue; but I could only keep one. It was an excruciating choice, but I chose the healthier of the two. Both went to the vet, but only Snifter came back with us. Pif (as we eventually nicknamed this lucky tabby) lived to be 22 years
Growing up with an artist mom, I naturally explored my own talents from an early age. Mom encouraged us all to be creative. When my interest in animals and art eventually developed into a career, The Magic Zoo was born! I have been combining my love of animals and my career as an artist for nearly 30 years.