Preparation for Cattery Dispersal
Barbara Azan was always a very organized person. As she realized that her health was failing, she began to take some steps to prepare her cattery for those who would take care of her cats "in case anything happened." The very first steps taken were to find two friends - one who would begin as a new breeder who could build on Barb's legacy, and one who was an experienced Turkish Angora breeder/exhibitor who would learn to know many of Barb's adult cats on sight and assist with the transfers of ownership after her passing. So it was that Sue Howland began to mentor with Barbara in late 2006, and Kit Goodwin began making several visits to Barbara each year, beginning in late 2005.
Barbara was proud of the kittens she produced that year and spent much time talking to her visitors about them. She often reminded her visitors that "everything is in the computer, on the desktop". She had, indeed, documented her kitten litters by photographs and pedigrees that were placed in folders on her computer - which her friends discovered later, when they finally obtained access to the computer.
Barbara's illness progressed through various levels during her last year, and this made care of the cats difficult for her. As a result, she did the responsible and sensible thing, and began to reduce the size of her cattery. While she did not have time to finish the job of reduction, Barbara had only fifteen cats in her home, and another five in the home of an associate, at the time of her passing. This low number helped make the process of dispersal and identification of the cats much more simple.
One of the most remarkable preparations that Barb made regarding her cats was a trip to the vet in mid-October, approximately four days before her last hospitalization. The purpose of her visit was to have two of her kittens vaccinated for rabies and microchipped for identification. Weeks after Barb's death, her friends were dumbfounded to discover from vet records that she had accomplished this and at a time when she was suffering so very much. Barb's last hospitalization began four days later and lasted five weeks, most of which was spent in I.C.U. (Intensive Care Unit).
Barbara's passing was a sad event to her friends, who miss her dearly. She had a hard time facing what was happening, but she did. She was true to her reputation as a tough and formidable woman, and prepared her cattery for what was coming. The high priority she gave to the safety of her cats and their continuance in the Turkish Angora community is admirable.
"Over the past 20 years that I have been involved in cat rescue, I have dispersed five or six catteries due to death, divorce, or disability. Of all the cases I have handled, Azima cattery was the best prepared." -- Kit Goodwin, PuRRS, Inc.