Cathy Coleman is an avid animal lover, artist, photographer and writing enthusiast. A native of Tennessee, she lives on a farm with her husband and a variety of horses, dogs, cats, parrots and the occasional wild creature that arrives in need of help. Almost all of her animals are adopted or have come from dire circumstances.
Cathy realized that she felt a special kinship with animals at a very young age. Her love of reading led her into the literary worlds of James Herriot, Marguerite Henry and Erma Bombeck, where she was inspired to put her experiences with animals… both humorous and poignant … onto paper. "It did not matter if I simply told a story at the dinner table or wrote it down for someone to read,” Coleman said. "The response was always the same… ‘You need to write a book.” And so for the last several years, Cathy has been working diligently on a collection of stories that she hopes will bring laughter and introspection to readers of all ages … if she ever gets them finished between all her chores!
Coleman’s first introduction to parrots was a lovable Harlequin parakeet named Frosty. Frosty was a "dime store” parakeet… the kind of parakeet that was sold in a department store, next to garden supplies and automotive parts.
"Frosty was like a little person in a bird suit,” Coleman said with a smile. "He was full of joy and lived his life to the fullest every day. Up until that point in my life, I never knew of another creature with such a beautiful spirit.”
Frosty left an indelible impression on Coleman … so much so, that years later she once again stepped back into the avian world. This time, it wasn’t with a parakeet, but with a cheeky gunslinging Timneh African grey named Petrie, a lovable clown of an Alexandrine parakeet named Fred, and a zany 30-year-old female Moluccan cockatoo named Thor.
"I did not adopt these birds because I wanted more work to do…” she said. "I wanted to make a difference in their lives. I wanted to give them peace and to let them know that this was their last home.”
She pauses for a moment, looking over at her birds.
"What I was not prepared for was how much of a difference they would make in MY life.”
Coleman is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art.