It is with a heavy heart and devastating disbelief that I learned of the sudden passing of an esteemed colleague in the pet world, Dr. Lorie Huston. This amazing and accomplished woman was more than a veterinarian, pet owner of six cats and an award-winning pet blogger. Lorie was a passionate pet lover, educator and a gifted leader.
I met Lorie "online" as is the case for 99% of the pet welfare friends and colleagues that I have met across the U.S. and over the years since I "accidentally" became a cat blogger when I moved to the north side of downtown Miami and stumbled upon dozens of homeless cats and kittens.When I exposed Loews Hotel of Orlando for abandoning their successful TNRM program and made the decision to trap the harmless hotel cats (custom cat houses were built for them) and send all the cats to the shelters for euthanization, I could not believe the number of nationally recognized cat experts and writers who reached out in support, interviewed me, and wrote about this important story to educate the masses. Lorie was one of them.
Soft spoken in person, Lorie was a born leader in every sense in the pet welfare world and commanded 100% respect. Once Lorie was named the new President of the Cat Writer's Association, I and other colleagues rejoiced. We knew she would move mountains with her forward thinking and mighty pen that served as both educational tool and sword to protect all cats--pets and strays. Lorie made it a point to approach anyone regardless of their background or talent or desire to help pets, asked individuals for ideas, listened intently and incorporated their input into a master plan for the benefit of the Cat Writer's Association and ultimately cats. And yes, she even reached out to dog people! A fine example of bipartisanship.
Lorie extolled the virtues of humility, grace, and kindness all while brimming with profound but quiet intelligence. I always wondered how she juggled a veterinarian practice, six cats and a blogging career with ease and grace. She made it look so easy.
I recall just this past May sitting in the front row of the kick off night of the BlogPaws conference in Lake Vegas as Lorie received the Winn Feline Foundation Media Appreciation Award. So deserving.
|Dr. Lorie Huston accepts award|
We regularly met twice a year at major pet blogging conferences, and I was always honored when she asked me for marketing and other ideas where I had experience. She had vision, a plan. Dr. Lorie Huston was making a difference.
So as I'm drafting this blog post, I received an email from another esteemed colleague, Deb Barnes (of Zee and Zoey) that Lorie had recently written a blog post on August 19, 2014, where she named Deb and I as women she admired! Imagine my shock. I had no idea! A woman I had looked up to and admired on so many levels was acknowledging me. Such a bittersweet moment.
|I took this photo last October of Lorie Huston and Deb Barnes at CWA annual conference 2013|
Last week we were communicating via email and yesterday I received an email that she had liver failure and was on life support. Then within a few hours, another email that she had passed. A harsh reminder, we never know what the day will bring, whether we will be on this earth next week, next year...A reminder to make the most of every day, to live life to the fullest, to be kind and to give back. That's exactly how Lorie lived her life and touched and elevated millions of lives -- both humans and pets.
Lorie I grieve in your absence. The only white light is knowing you are with our beloved pets that have crossed the rainbow bridge and that together you are watching over us as we continue in your footsteps.
I know you're not resting but ready to pounce on any opportunity in heaven to continue educating and saving millions of voiceless creatures, cats.
Pounce in Peace