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I was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. (I decline to mention the decade other than the fact that I am a boomer.) The youngest of three siblings, my best friend growing up was a grey and white tabby cat named Bootsie. From a very early age, I've always had a great respect and love for animals and nature. I earned a B.Sc. in biology and a B.Ed. at Dalhousie University in Halifax. I then furthered my education degree at the University of British Columbia, specializing in outdoor education. My husband Hugh and I taught in Prince Rupert on the northwest coast of BC for three years; by summer, we roamed the Rockies.
In 1982, Hugh was accepted to veterinary school in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I was lucky enough to secure a position teaching Grade Five at Hugh Cairns Elementary school and thoroughly loved my time there. After Hugh's graduation in 1986, we returned to Nova Scotia where he was employed as a veterinarian in Halifax. Unable to secure a full time teaching position, I worked as a substitute teacher but it was far less fulfilling than having my own classroom. In 1987, we made a risky, but heartfelt decision. We decided to open the first feline-only veterinary practice east of Montreal and one of only five feline practices in Canada.
Atlantic Cat Hospital grew from a staff of two, seven hundred square feet, and one resident cat to a staff of ten, two thousand square feet, and five resident cats. During that time, I worked alongside my husband as receptionist, veterinary technician, kennel cleaner, bookkeeper, custodian, grief counsellor and practice manager. And in my spare time, I began to write. At first, it was just a collection of anecdotes on pieces of paper; little tidbits of life in a cat hospital. Gradually, it took shape and grew into a novel that was awarded second place at the 2007 30th annual Atlantic Writing Competition for unpublished manuscripts. I was also recognized in the short story category with first place for "Seen but Not Heard." Told in the child's voice, it is a moving story set in the 1960s about the bond between a little girl and her dad. It will provide the framework for my third novel.
Following the success of Urban Tigers, Tales of a Cat Vet published in 2011, I followed it with Urban Tigers Two, More Tales of a Cat Vet released in July 2013. Many thanks to those of you who have become loyal fans of Dr. Emily McBride.
I am currently working on my third novel. My husband built me a little cabin down at the lake where I write by day; the water lapping against the shore, a cat asleep on my lap. Does it get any better than that? Perhaps lunch delivered to my door complete with an inspirational glass of wine? Stay tuned.