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December 20, 2018 – Judith Nelson, a retired attorney and hobby artist, has enjoyed the company of cats, many of which came to her through a series of unfortunate events, and to whom she became a guardian angel.

About 15 years ago, when one of Judith’s cats passed away, a friend of hers donated to Morris Animal Foundation in remembrance. As Judith learned about the work of the Foundation and its mission to improve the lives of animals everywhere, she began to do the same thing for her friends when they lost beloved companion animals. She’s now been a donor to the Foundation for 14 years and loves supporting feline research to help advance the health of not only her cats, but cats everywhere.

“My cats bring an added dimension of joy to my life, so this is one way I can give back to them,” said Judith, who also supports wildlife research at the Foundation. “Plus, I like the idea of basic research, and feel good that the Foundation is being run well.”

Cats have come into Judith’s life in variety of ways: W.B was a backyard refugee; Spike, a Maine coon given to Judith after a friend’s divorce; Corey, a blind cat with a heart condition that came to Judith after the death of her mother; Mama Chee, an abandoned cat neighbors couldn’t keep; and Mama Chee’s surprise litter of kittens – two of which, Simba and Garbo, took up residence in the Nelson household.

With their various health challenges, Judith’s cats helped her appreciate the need for ongoing research to advance feline veterinary medical care. Thanks to Judith and other donors who are passionate about cats, our investment in feline health has helped:

  • Develop the first feline leukemia vaccine, saving the lives of millions of cats every year
  • Advance treatment for kidney disease, osteoarthritis and heart disease
  • Complete the cat genome, a vital tool for studying genetic causes of many feline diseases
  • Discover new viruses and their links to feline diseases
  • Enhance the health of shelter cats through improved housing, behavior intervention and environmental enrichment
  • Develop the first known drug to successfully treat feline infectious peritonitis, with recently completed clinical trials
  • And so much more!

Judith currently has three cats – Mama Chee (a domestic shorthair and, says Judith, the calmest, sweetest cat she’s known), Simba (a shy male) and Garbo (a sweet female), and Judith enjoys being with all three. She hopes they all have long, healthy lives and knows that Morris Animal Foundation is here, working to make sure Judith can enjoy many years with her feline companions. In fact, we’ve invested more than $16 million in 370 feline health studies since 1950! But there is more we need to do.

You can help the cats you love, and cats everywhere, by making a gift to the Foundation during our end-of-year campaign. And now, through December 31, your gift can be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000, thanks to several generous donors, to have twice the impact!