I always thought I was a dog person until I met Brad. He was 5 weeks old, abandoned at a dump and brought to the local police department by the dump workers along with his 2 sisters.

I was lucky to be doing a summer externship at a central Illinois animal shelter when his litter was brought in. I brought him home while my parents were on vacation and immediately set up a cat tree and a bunch of accessories and ingratiated him to the family dog, cementing him a home forever. My parents and sister hated the idea of owning a cat but were quickly convinced otherwise by the fluffy orange ball of fur.

Brad was never the family cat, he was always my cat. He followed me through my last year of undergrad, a year of work, veterinary school, and he is now keeping my company during my professional career.

He has moved with me about 10 different times in 4 different states and 2 countries. He loves all people and animals and acts as an ambassador to all the foster animals I take care of.

He has his own Facebook page and any online updates containing Brad content gets 5 times as much attention as everything else. Everyone loves Brad. People I don’t even talk to anymore request updates on him.

Brad has comforted me and been by my side through everything these past 7 years. He knows everything about me and doesn’t judge too hard. He truly opened the door and nudged me into crazy cat lady territory.


Dr. Matern is an associate veterinarian primarily at our Austin – Oltorf location and has been with THRIVE since 2017. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign and attended veterinary school at St. Matthew’s University, finishing her clinical year at the University of Georgia in Athens. She has a special interest in oncology and nutrition and currently resides in south Austin with her boyfriend, Seth, their four cats (Brad, Columbia, Riff Raff, and Margarine) and their Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Butters.


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