Winn Feline Foundation

Kitty In Window

How much is that kitty in the window. The one with the cute little sweater since we don't have a haricot. This is either a Sphynx or a Rex cat but couldn't tell for sure at the distance.


Pre-Cat Show

Headed up to Portland today to have a booth at the TICA Portland International Cat Show.This is the first experience being at a cat show as an exhibitor for me. Here is the booth set up though we moved the banner onto the table.


Board Meeting Day

Winn had its October board meeting today. Time-wise we got done in a good bit of time at just over 2 hours. These are very draining sessions and it is hard to get anything else done though we did make it to Costco too later on.

2016 Winn Symposium

The Symposium for 2016 is over. This is one of the main events and projects I have to prepare for and work on each year. It is a lot of work yet it is nice when it comes to a conclusion and the audience is happy with the results.

Relaxing in Vegas

Today was getting some relaxation in before ramping up to the Winn board meeting at 5 p.m. Always plenty of details to pay attention to there. One last look at the pool and all the hotel guests who were enjoying it.

Poolside in Vegas

Another hot day in Las Vegas so we went out and found a spot under an umbrella to enjoy the pool and sun. Bob went swimming and I just dipped my feet to cool off.

Red Rock Resort Vegas Style

Bob and I got up at 3 a.m. today to drive to Portland and catch an early morning flight to Las Vegas. The flight was a good one, no problems. Vegas temperature was up around 110 degrees today so it was a hot and tired pair that got to the hotel about 1 p.m. We could check in and cool off. We didn't make the pool today and it closes at 6 p.m. Bummer

Matthew Kornya

I got to take my huge help, Dr. Matthew Kornya, with the Winn blogs out to dinner here in Denver. It was great getting to know Matthew better. He is a true cat lover and sharp guy on medicine.

Winn Riders Day

Today is National Cat Day and also the day that my friend, Glenn Olah, took off on his two day, almost 330 mile bike riding journey to raise money for cat health with Winn Feline Foundation. He got Bob a bike kit with all the Winn logos, cat paws and everything on it. We donated! Here is Bob in his Winn bike kit.

More Old Friends

I was sent this photo of myself with two long time friends from AAFP, Canadians Heather Stewart and Sandy Jamieson. We all have been a crazy bunch of people who have fun at our meetings.

Three Cat Experts

Here is a great photo of three top cat experts that I know at the AAFP conference. From left to right: Dr. Susan Little, Dr. Ilona Rodan, Dr. Margie Scherk.

Winn Booth at AAFP

Bob got the Winn booth all set up and looking super. Ready to go and meet people!!

Enjoying the Spread

The ballroom last night was set up for some very nice food selections from Jake's Grill in Portland. The room was set up very well, much like a relaxed "speakeasy" in some ways with Big Band type of music playing in the background. Sofas and tables around with lower lighting. It was fun. I liked the set up for the food. Much like Oregon in a way.

Portland Time

I spent the day today up in Portland at the Banfield Summit. I finally got an invitation to attend. It was quite a nice event and the topic this year was Design Thinking. A new way to problem solve. The evening function was a very nice networking set up in a ballroom of The Sentinel Hotel. One of my networking experiences was catching up with Joyce Briggs from ACCD. Here we are together.

Toronto Board Meeting

Busy day today with the board meeting in the middle of the day. Not much time for anything else other than dinner with part of the group at an Italian restaurant in the evening. With some light heartedness and some seriousness, here is Glenn, Steve, and Drew at the meeting.

Margie At Work

I caught a good photo of Margie Scherk, a long time friend from Vancouver, BC, Canada, hard at work during the Winn Feline Foundation grant review. She really concentrates on this.

Grant Review, Dreaming of Boats

We had the Winn grant review today and got finished earlier than we thought we would. Efficient group of people. Now the other work begins. In the meantime, maybe I can dream of nice big boats like I saw at the Tampa Bay marina just outside the Marriott Hotel downtown.

Merlot Wine and Friends in Tampa

I moved over to the Crowne Plaza Hotel closer to the airport this afternoon so we could have the Winn board meeting and grant review here. The hotel gave me an upgraded room since I handled the negotiations for the meeting. The other pleasant thing is that they delivered a bottle of Clois de Bois Merlot wine to the room with cheese, grapes, and crackers. I share with my good friends, Glenn and Elaine Olah. We toasted Bob who could not be there.

More speaking in Tampa

Getting more CE in today and also watching Steve Dale speak on the veterinary industry and also the Human-Animal Bond. He does a really great job speaking and involving the audience. His mom should listen to him. Happy


Winn Day at AAHA in Tampa

Busy day in Tampa. Winn Feline Foundation had our track in AAHA conference in Tampa. I had to introduce 2 speakers over 4 lectures through the day. It all went very well and people seemed to receive the information well and pick up the Winn materials for their business. Saw one of my veterinary classmates I had not seen since veterinary school, Randy Felts. Time flies.

Last Day for Kalamazoo

Interesting day of presentations and interactions about cats. It was an enjoyable three days in Kalamazoo and I had a great time. I think everyone else did too. Long flight home to Portland through Detroit. Really had to hustle with my bags to get to the new gate.

The Big Day

Today was my scheduled presentation in front of people at Zoetis. Since I am not a frequent speaker and work behind the scenes, it seemed to go fairly well. We also had a panel discussion and that seemed to be also well-received. It was a relief though to be done and I think I have gotten on the horse and survived so I can do it again if needed.

Off to Kalamazoo

Caught a flight to Kalamazoo, MI by way of Minneapolis. A large portion of the aged population like me seemed to be traveling to Minnesota. Kalamazoo in the dark looked like a great spot for Halloween Trick or Treating much like Haddonfield from the movie, Halloween. I didn’t get into my room until 11 p.m. so a tired old lady.

More Meetings

While he is often taking photos and videos of us, I was able to get Steve Dale, radio personality, in a quick snapshot as we got set for another round of board meeting and grant review for Winn.


The day was fully spent doing strategic planning and practicing leadership. The meeting went well overall and we had a nice evening for dinner at Gibson’s steakhouse located right at the hotel. Eric Bruner, our board member, lead the session.planning-10-7-14

Flying to Chicago

Had to leave before 7 a.m. to fly to Chicago for the Winn October meeting. It was a slow start and the flight delayed but it was a nice evening having dinner with my old buddy, Drew Weigner. We have not have enough time to spend together in recent years.

Winn Recognition

It was a really good meeting and one that also brought Winn forward to other cat-loving veterinarians. It was a good time to see old friends and have dinner with them. A special moment for me was to have one veterinarian who I know through the IACD group who said she was happy to see me because I was one of the few people she hoped to see at the meetings. It makes me feel great that I can make others enjoy their experience there. They certainly make my day too. Here is a good slide up on the screen to see.

Drew Baby

My old buddy, Drew Weigner, was at the meeting. He is on the board now of Winn Feline Foundation. We found time to do a little dancing and also to connect up at the Winn booth. He is my other dancing partner.

Winn Drawing Winner of the Winnie

Here is our “Winnie Marchin’ In” winner here in Indianapolis. Her name is Rachael Miller and she was THRILLED to win the Jamie Perry print in our drawing. I hope she got it home safely. It would be great to see Winnie in her new home.

Winn Sponsored Talks

Winn’s sponsored speaker started today in his lectures. Here is Dr. Webb with Dr. Peter Mundschenk, a friend. Peter is moderating the session. Dr. Webb highlighted Winn and Winn’s research where people really sat up and took notice. Very good talk and a lot of interest. I was able to get a podcast done with Dr. Webb and it went well!

Round Two in Boothmanship

Spent a lot of the day in lectures and roundtable discussions. Lots of interesting information to absorb and hopefully share with others. The roundtable on diabetes in cats had a lot of worthwhile data on what others are doing in their practices as far as monitoring and treating. Bob got the booth up and running Thursday afternoon while I was in lectures. It looks pretty good and lots of people stopped by and donated today.

The New Winn Website Has Launched

The new Winn Feline Foundation website has launched today. It has been a wish for at least three years and a definite for the past year. It certainly has consumed my time and my life for the past weeks to months. It looks great. I feel like we should take a big bottle of champagne and break it over something much like they do with a ship launching. Though that is a waste of good champagne and be fund drinking it slowly.

Genetics and Dr. Leslie Lyons

While at the conference, I was able to do a podcast interview with Dr. Leslie Lyons. She is a renowned geneticist who is now located at the University of Missouri. She has done amazing work in the genetics field of cats. Her lab has found a number of important mutations that they have developed genetic tests to find these mutations. Here is Dr. Lyons talking about some of the early genomic work to sequence the cat genome. Winn Feline Foundation has been active in supporting this area.

Dr. Niels Pedersen's Retirement

Part of the weekend at the International Cat Conference was to participate in the retirement party of Dr. Niels Pedersen who led the Center for Companion Animal Health at UC-Davis. He has a long history in feline medicine and was very much a pioneer in viral research in cats. Here he is listening to a scientific presentation during the conference.

Winn Feline Foundation at UC-Davis

Here is Bob in his nice green shirt with the Winn logo. Our Winn Feline Foundation table all set up at the International Cat Conference at UC-Davis.

Speaking for Myself

Actually, I am not speaking just for myself and really speaking to the CFA Delegate’s in Winn’s behalf. Glenn Olah is there and will follow me on the podium. After the talk, I was done and able to head over to get our rental car, have lunch with Marybeth before we headed to Covington LA to see Karen and Tim. Interesting riding over the long causeway bridge across Lake Pontchartrain. A lot of growth and people found in this area and roads are pretty congested. Many moved here after Hurricane Katrina and away from New Orleans.

Symposium Day

Well, the big symposium day has arrived for Winn. We also had our Zoetis/Winn grant review in the morning. A jam packed day of details and work though it all went well right up and through the great dinner at the Red Fish Grill on Bourbon St. I got all the audio setup and Bob was videographer again. Logistics were a bit difficult for the Symposium room with the food, water, and drinks yet all got said and done in the end. Here is one speaker, Dr. Philip Fox, speaking on HCM in cats.

Meetings and Prints

Since I am now in charge of meeting logistics for Winn, my day was spent making sure of the board meeting room availability and that all our packages have arrived for the Symposium the next day. I made sure to stop and greet Jamie Perry as she holds the “Winnie Marchin’ In” print for sale. We hope it is a big fundraiser for Winn and a seller for her.

A Goodbye

Bob and I met Maureen and Lisa for dinner tonight. It was a goodbye dinner with Maureen and a hello dinner for Lisa to continue with Winn. Maureen has a new job which started today and will no longer be working for Winn other than some small support on the side. We will miss her and also be glad that we have Lisa to carry on the day to day support that Winn needs. Here is a photo of me with Lisa and Maureen.

Dinner at Canaletto's at the Venetian

After a long, yet super productive day of research grant review, we all head off to eat at Canaletto’s Restaurant in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Our dining area was on the second floor and overlooked the canals full of gondolas in the hotel. The ceiling was painted with blue sky and white clouds overseeing the Italianate look to the business courtyard. The entrance to the Venetian leads to a vaulted ceiling with gold gilt and paintings much like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Very cool and very extravagant surroundings. Our waiter, Michael, is in the background. We ordered off our own little Winn menus with our Winn logo.

Board Meeting

Here we are at the Winn Feline Foundation board meeting at the Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas NV. Maureen is demonstrating the new Winn website pages on her computer that are the basic demo pages for how it will look.


Today I did my 5th presentation in a row to the first year class at the CVM of Oregon State University. I spend 2 hours discussing cats, taking a medical history and doing a physical exam, carrier training, and handling of cats. I think it has turned into a decent presentation though I wish I had more time to spend working with them and their cats that they bring to the class. The students are really a good group of young people and each class seems so different in make up.

Challenge Science Results?

Being involved with the Winn Feline Foundation and reviewing research grant proposals, I found an interesting article through The Economist. Their premise is that researchers are too complacent in challenging their results or of others. Many studies’ results cannot be reproduced………..they are “one offs”. They also challenge the peer review concept and that results should be challenged by open discussion after publication. Here is the article, others can decide how they view this issue.

Work and Movies

The morning today was taken up with the Winn October teleconference board meeting. It appeared to go well and it is great to have it all completed for this year. This is probably a day to have followed up and watched one of the movies listed in this article of 15 underrated films from the 2000s that are worth considering watching.

Financing talks

Another full day of lectures. Margie Scherk spoke for the morning and it was nice to say hello. Bob and I got to spend some time with the Bank of America finance person on site. We also talked with a lovely lady who also organized different insurance plans for practitioners who are looking to establish a practice. It all looks promising. The 5 Musketeers had dinner at an Italian restaurant, Luciano’s. The hot bread with herbed olive oil was spectacularly tasty.


New Thoughts on Our DNA

A recent article talks about some newer thoughts on DNA and the fact that some people may have more than one set of DNA in their body. Chimerism. It offers a puzzle and thought that if this is true for people, could this also be true in other animal species? Is this why we may not find a mutation in some cases when researchers look and don’t locate what they expect? Fascinating and very curious.

Symposium and podcasts

My Blue Yeti microphone failed me tonight and I was not able to use it to record audio for the Symposium. I had to use the laptop microphone which was OK though more tinny in sound. We pulled off another well done Symposium with lots of good feedback. Dinner at The Grant House was great and the food very nicely done even if most of the conversation was pointed toward travels in Africa which we have not done.

Bob, was videographer, for the event along with Otto Wolf.



Off to Vancouver WA today. It is great to see that this year’s Winn meeting is close to home and we can drive. It is a bit cloudy, rainy and muggy for Oregon. The Winn board meeting was tonight and I was elected President for another term. Here is how it went down with me looking like I am working and Betty White as my sidekick.


Hunkered Down

One of the “catch up all the work on hold” days. I had to spend most of the day from early morning until evening hunkered down over the computer getting Winn Feline Foundation materials ready for the board meeting and answering emails. It might be a more pleasant thought to consider the Seattle skyline from the waterfront.

Libsyn and Podcasts

What a great feeling when you tackle a challenge and get it done. I had not gone through their website process of publishing a podcast and its description. I loaded two of them today of 10 min. interviews with Dr. Jessica Quimby and on research funded by the Winn Feline Foundation. The podcast episodes were fun and educational. They probably are not accessible at this time.

Houston, We Have a Problem

Heading out the door at 8 a.m. Most flights out of the Northeast were canceled and so any of our group from there had to stay home and attend by call. I had to get all the info gathered for the meeting I could since I would be the backup go-to person. I am glad I had a First Class upgrade for the flight segments on this trip. Just to make me feel better and less stressed. Houston, here I come.


Our 2013 grant review was today. Half of the group was on a teleconference phone line, the rest were able to make it to Houston. Winn Feline Foundation is lucky to have such a great group of people wanting to help cats. Out to Chez Nous, a French restaurant for dinner tonight. Good food and drink all the way around. As the Marines say……….HoooRaaaa!


All morning consisted of our Winn board meeting. Lots to do and get done. Then off to the airport to get home from Houston by way of United. The flight was fine, left on time and got in early to Portland. One lady sitting a row ahead was also reading research grants though on breast cancer. In talking with her, she said they have found targeted immunoglobulins to be a huge advancement in the last few years, especially in the area of lung cancer. She said she was a medical oncologist. It would have been interesting to chat longer.


Back at home again and working through a list of tasks to accomplish. Adder decided to run off yesterday and did not come home. Sending an email shout out to the neighbors brought about a call from Shirley Adams and her comment that he showed up at their house at 11 pm last night. Silly dog! He is all sore and tired today.

Occam's Razor

Tomorrow I head off on a flight to Houston. The annual Winn grant review will be Saturday followed by a board meeting. I upgraded to a first class ticket using miles to treat myself. It has been a busy and stressful time over the last few months.
I found an interesting article about Occam’s Razor and its use in science. The article is here. The thought of keeping to the simplest or null hypothesis is in its way, comforting.

Science deals with facts, experiments and numerical representations of the natural world around us. Science does not deal with emotions, beliefs or politics, but rather strives to analyse matters dispassionately and in an objective way, such that in consideration of a given set of facts two different practitioners might come to the same interpretation….

William of Occam

Which brings us to the matter of Occam’s Razor and the null hypothesis. William of Occam (1285-1347) was an English Franciscan monk and philosopher to whom is attributed the saying ‘Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate’, which translates as ‘Plurality should not be posited without necessity.’ This is a succinct statement of the principle of simplicity, or parsimony, that was first developed by Aristotle and which has today come to underlie all scientific endeavour.
The phrase ‘Occam’s Razor’ is now generally used as shorthand to represent the fundamental scientific assumption of simplicity. To explain any given set of observations of the natural world, scientific method proceeds by erecting, first, the simplest possible explanation (hypothesis) that can explain the known facts. This simple explanation, termed the null hypothesis, then becomes the assumed interpretation until additional facts emerge that require modification of the initial hypothesis, or perhaps even invalidate it altogether.

Cats and Women

This study is from 2011, though I only noticed it in a blog article today. Anything that relates to how cats and humans interact is of interest, especially even better if related to women. This article is about how cats adore and manipulate their female owners. Now who would say that!

While cats have plenty of male admirers, and vice versa, this study and others reveal that women tend to interact with their cats — be they male or female felines — more than men do.

“In response, the cats approach female owners more frequently, and initiate contact more frequently (such as jumping on laps) than they do with male owners,” co-author Manuela Wedl of the University of Vienna told Discovery News, adding that “female owners have more intense relationships with their cats than do male owners.”


Bomber Jackets

What we collect or what interests us, defines us. One type of collectible that has a following is in the paintings found on World War II leather bomber jackets. I came across a fascinating article about this form of collectible. To my amazement, the first picture in the story was of a jacket painted “Winn’s Warriors”. Oh, to have that jacket what with my role in the Winn Feline Foundation. We should all have the motto of Winn’s Warriors as we volunteer for this wonderful Foundation. As the artwork emboldened our air boys, something similar might make us emboldened to work hard for cat health studies to make the lives of cats even better. To read about the bomber jacket art of World War II, go here.


Speaking to Students

This is the fourth year in a row that I have spoken to the freshman class of veterinary students at Oregon State University. It went well and I covered cats, medical history, physical examinations, and cat friendly handling in a two hour period. I think I have my Powerpoint Presentation in pretty good shape and it helped teach the students how to appreciate and understand cats. I always forget to get my picture taken as I do the lecture though the following photo was taken by Annie last year after the talk where I am holding a Winn Feline Foundation anniversary book.


Mostly a recovery and try to feel better day. The need to finish up some odds and ends while planning other things that need doing. I did send off some photos to Dr. Niels Pedersen of his friends accepting the Excellence in Feline Research Award for him at the AVMA meeting in San Diego in August. Here is one photo where the AVMA President, Dr. Rene Carlson, is presenting the crystal cat statue.


Miller Trust Review

Today was the 2012 grant review for the Miller Trust proposals. It is held by teleconference and we were able to get finished in 2 hours. Unfortunately, my cold was about at its worst and is a day of managing my cough, fever, and poor energy levels. Here is a photo of the review group at work at an earlier time.


AVMA Headquarters

The morning was spent in discussions at the AVMA headquarters. The meeting rooms are nice and they offer a lunch area on site. The last portion of the morning was spent at the Council on Research meeting where one member, Dr. Tom Rossum, said he had a lot of respect for the work of the Winn Feline Foundation.

Caught an on-time United flight back to Portland. Since I was starting to come down with my cold, it was not a great experience to have a significant nose bleed as the flight was ascending to travel altitude. Traveling is not fun though I will add in a photo of the “drillmaster” statue from last night at Weber Grill. We need Bob to hold that pose as he grills.


Calls, Calls, and More Calls

Most of today was spent on the phone playing catch up with Winn business and “where we are at” in certain tasks.

I am happy to report that we may have someone who would be an excellent selection that is interested in becoming President Elect of Winn and following behind my Presidency. Having some certainty to board development and the future is exciting. Who knows, maybe we can leave a legacy similar to Thomas Jefferson. Maybe………………..


Playing Catch Up

It is best to be honest and admit that most of the day was playing catch up on little tasks for Winn and home. A lot of it is spent on the computer or phone. We got our new microwave in so all these little tasks seem to help in the catching up process.

In the meantime, it might be fun to put a photo taken with my IPad of a little boy, Nicolas, at his 5th birthday party in May enjoying a tasty cupcake. Happy



It was special to be able to attend two hours of Conflict Competency with a group session lead by Jeff Thoren and Sally Stamp. I am pleased to call them friends and want to thank them for coaching me to learn more about myself and how to use conversation and coaching tools. It was interesting to see that the people I listened to in the group and in our small sessions had much the same issues as I do. What we can learn from each other!

Later, I enjoyed attending the AVMA Awards Luncheon. I had a chance to meet and interact with a number of people I know and like. Networking is rewarding and getting to know my colleagues is special. Here is a look at the “Winnie”, crystal cat award, that will go to Dr. Niels Pedersen for his awesome research work with cats.


Research Networking

Today was spent in a meeting and later, dinner, trying to move collaboration efforts forward on research. It is three steps back, sideways, and some options forward. I will have to work on a set of questions that can be used to see how we can find common ground to work for better research.

In the meantime, I loved the glow lamps that were out on the deck of the Midway. They seemed to light the way and hopefully I can think of them as a beacon lighting some answers our way.


Seeing Old and New Friends

It was not easy getting up and around after some travel the day before. The convention center is about 4 blocks away and Petco Field is just 2 blocks. Baseball would be so much more fun than sitting in lectures. It was so nice to enjoy the ambience of San Diego. Lots of restaurants around our hotel, Hotel Solamar, in the Gaslamp quarter.

Bob took off on a rented bike to visit Balboa Park and have Vietnamese food for lunch. He said there are a lot of empty businesses and changes north of the trolley line. The vibrancy, activity, and tourist areas seem to have moved to the Gaslamp area and away from Horton Plaza and spots north of that.

I got to see some old friends who I have not spoken with in a few years and met knew ones that night while visiting Joan Miller at her condo near the Convention Center. What a view and a neat show of fireworks over the harbor and past the Marriott hotel.

Bob and Kim Thornton (author)


Winn and "Winnie"

Tomorrow will be a busy day trying to work on some Winn tasks and doing phone calls for different parts of Winn.

I thought I would make today’s post a mention about Winn’s new mascot, “Winnie”, who was brought to life by Jamie Perry, the artist from Glen Ellen CA. I have asked some friends for input about “Winnie” and the comments back so far have been positive. Feedback is always helpful and positive feedback even more so. So here is the first of the new look in the Winn enewsletter with the introduction of “Winnie”. Welcome to the cat world!

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