Hi, my name is Crystal and I am a cultural anthropologist who is specializing in the study of Anthrozoology. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Anthrozoology, Anthrozoology is the study of human-animal interactions/bonds. Anthrozoologists study nearly every sphere of human-animal interaction including: pet keeping practices, farming practices, research practices, conservation, zoology, ecotourism and human and veterinary medicine. My particular interests lie in the study of human-animal interactions which occur as a result of pet keeping practices and which occur within the realm of human and veterinary medicine.

In addition to being an anthropologist I am also a differently-abled animal advocate. I have owned and or lived with a differently-abled feline nearly my entire life, starting with my sister’s childhood cat Sunshine. Sunshine was both visually impaired and developmentally disabled. He came to live with me and my family when I was approximately 4 years old and he continued to live with my parents until he passed away nearly 17 years later.

Little Kitty was my second differently-abled cat and she entered my life when I was 19.  I found wandering around the parking lot where I worked. She was scared, hungry and appeared to have an injured front leg and paw. I later learned that the injury to Little Kitty’s front leg and paw were the result of a birth deformity. The bones in Little Kitty’s front leg were twisted, her paw was bent and she was and still remains unable to use her claws in that paw.

Finally, there is Moki. The kitty who most of you already know and love. Moki entered my life nearly 5 years ago when he was admitted to a no-kill, feline only, shelter were I was volunteering. Moki was born a normal feral kitten. When I brought him home to foster and socialize so that he could be adopted out, he got sick and developed a neurological disorder as a result of his illness.