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ID: Maureen Elizabeth Ricksgers

  • Maureen Ricksgers with Demi the cat from Thomas J. O'Connor shelter in Springfield
  • Maureen Ricksgers with Demi the cat from Thomas J. O'Connor shelter in Springfield<br/><br/>
  • Maureen Ricksgers with Demi the cat from Thomas J. O'Connor shelter in Springfield<br/><br/>

Maureen Ricksgers is a lifelong cat lover, although she didn’t own any until she was an adult. Now she’s a veterinarian who doctors cats back to health in her Northampton office.

Full name: Maureen Elizabeth Ricksgers

People know you as: Maureen or Dr. R.

Date and place of birth: Jan. 27, 1961, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Address: Florence

Job: Cat veterinarian and owner of The Cat Hospital in Northampton

Who lives under the same roof as you? My partner, Judy, children Anna, 11, and Miles, 7

Education: Doctor of veterinary medicine from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, 1986

Pets: At home I have four indoor cats, Nonni, Snowy, Joey and Victoria, and at work I have three cats, Georgie, Bear and Zena, and one guinea pig, Jelly Pig

Hobbies: I’m always making something out of fabric, beads, paper, paint, etc., from greeting cards and scrapbooks to baby clothes and American Girl doll clothes. I love travel, camping with my family, playing my flute

Book you’d recommend to a friend: “All Creatures Great and Small” by James Herriot. Even though I don’t work in the Yorkshire Dales, the relationships between people and their animals have similarities that transcend geography, cultures and decades

Favorite movie: “The Sound of Music”

Favorite singer: Neil Young

Five items you can’t live without: My family, my cats, my glasses, my flute and my sewing machine

Last thing you purchased just for fun: Vintage cat paper from Paper! Paper! on Market Street in Northampton

What’s at the top of your bucket list? Volunteering with World Vets on a veterinary surgery trip to Africa or South America

Life-changing experience: Birth of my babies

Strangest job you ever held: I think that would be a tie between my first job, which was preparing enormous frog legs at a restaurant, and testing Michigan county fair racehorses for drugs

Current Facebook status: “I love my job!!!” (posted after a happy ending: a Humpty Dumpty-type kitty went home all better)

A little-known fact about you: I have vaccinated lions and tigers at the Detroit zoo

Dumbest thing you ever did: I leave things on top of my car and then drive off, effectively losing them, and breaking coffee cups — several to date

One trend you’d like to see return: Handwritten thank you notes

What really sets you off? People who are engaged with their phones while in the company of their friends

If you could spend the day with a celebrity from any time in history, who would it be? Sojourner Truth, for her courage and strength. She has a well-known Florence connection but then spent her later years and died in western Michigan, where I grew up

Best advice you ever got: Apply to vet school before you have a bachelor’s degree, because you might get in. I did, got accepted as a junior, and saved a year of college tuition that way

Favorite place to get a bite: Bueno Y Sano in Northampton, for its grilled jalapenos. The best ever

Favorite athlete: My daughter Anna who is a level 4 gymnast for the Hampshire Regional YMCA’s travel team

What does your ideal weekend look like? Coffee sitting down, well-behaved cats at work on Saturday morning, much family time, taking my family to our amazing church, Haydenville Congregational, beach or nature slipped in the cracks

One thing you would change about yourself: I wish I had a more mechanical and spatial mind

What gives you the creeps? Scary movies. I have nightmares

People who knew you in high school thought you were: Ambitious and boring

Whom do you most admire? Parents who try to do their best every day to guide their children. Parenting is the hardest job

Parting shot: Adopt a shelter cat!

Legacy Comments1

Dr. Ricksgers aka Dr. Whiskers is the best. She is kind, compassionate, realistic and super intelligent. We love her!

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