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How We Became Involved

Kit Goodwin began with Turkish Angoras in 1989 and was introduced to Barbara Azan, one of the early founders of the breed. During the last three or four years of Barbara's life, a friendship developed, and Barbara and Kit often talked by phone. Kit also stayed with Barbara occasionally while showing in Allentown and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, near Barbara's home.

Approximately two years before Barbara's passing, she requested that Kit assist in the placement of her cats if anything happened to her. This continued to be an occasional topic of discussion by phone or during visits. Kit was introduced to Angela Manookian, Barb's housekeeper, who not only kept house for Barbara, but also assisted her with the cattery management and attended shows with her. Angela was almost as proud of kittens born in Barb's house, as was Barb herself!

Meanwhile, Barb was developing a new friendship with Sue Howland, a client who, with her husband Ken, wished to become new breeders and exhibitors of TAs. They began a mentorship, co-owning cats, raising four litters of kittens for Barb, assisting her with all aspects of national and international shipping of her kittens, and attending shows with her. In fact, Sue exhibited their first kitten born during Barb's mentorship just two weeks before Barb died. Karen Delmont assisted Sue during that show, and they called Barb in the hospital every time their kitten finaled.

In the course of their friendship, Barb expressed concern for her favorite living queen, Ellie Gantz, wondering if someday anything would happen to Barb, who would take care of this spayed girl who was so dear to her heart? Sue assured Barb that she and her husband, Ken, would be honored to take Ellie Gantz and promised that she would lack for nothing. Over time and deepening friendship, the role of taking Ellie Gantz expanded into taking care of the entire cattery if necessary someday. Barb gave Sue a few instructions about destinations for the cats and told her about Kit Goodwin, that she breeds TAs and has a cat rescue, and instructed Sue to call Kit for help with the cats "if anything should happen." Then Barb instructed several other friends, including Angela Manookian, that in case of emergency or Barb's incapacitation, the first thing they were to do is call Sue, who would "take care of the cats," and that Sue would call Kit Goodwin.

At the end of October, the seriousness of Barb's illness prompted Sue to call Kit, and they spoke for the first time a week or two before Barb died to coordinate "just in case something happened." They spoke again on Sunday night, November 16, 2008, when things looked bleak, to say that the time had apparently come, and Barb died on Monday, November 17.

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