Voted Best Vet Clinic of Monona, Best of Madison, and Star of Madison!
I didn't always want to be a vet. I loved dogs and really wanted a cat. I would put out some milk if I saw a cat in the neighborhood and my mom would say "don't feed them or they'll keep coming back." Obviously, she didn't understand that was my plan! But my early goals were to be a neurosurgeon or a writer.
In college, I found I didn't like the culture in my pre-med classes, so I went into genetics research. I worked in a lab at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln as an undergrad, then went to Oregon State University to work on a PhD in Genetics. I found that "bench research" wasn't for me, either. It was too solitary and didn't seem applicable to real life. Plus writing grants wasn't my kind of writing!
So there I was in Corvallis, Oregon, struggling with what I was going to do with my life. I thought about teaching; my dad had been an educator, but I wasn't sure I wanted to be around kids all day. Then my fiance, Cameron, got me a 6-month-old kitten. I was in love and thought "I could work with cats all day!" I finished my research project for a Master's Degree, got married, and moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Cameron started graduate school (he likes bench research!). After establishing residency in Michigan, I applied to Michigan State University - School of Veterinary Medicine and here I am today--loving being a veterinarian, talking to lots of people, and petting dogs and cats all day! I even write articles for Madison Essentials magazine and the website blog. Life is good.
I started Four Lakes Vet Clinic in April 2013. I had been working in McFarland, WI but wanted a place where I could better practice medicine my way. The vets at Harmony Vet suggested starting in the empty space next to them and the rest is history. In 2019 I joined the Turks and Caicos Veterinary Association and practice for two weeks at the small clinic on the island every other year or so.
I have 3 sons: Caleb, who received his Bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California - Berkeley and is currently serving in the Navy on a nuclear submarine; Asher, who received his Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and commissioned as a pilot in the Air Force, and Micah, majoring in Atmospheric Sciences and African American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
I have 4 cats: Catalina, Eddie, Spice, and Moby, one naughty collie dog (the notorious "counter surfer and stealer of cat food"), Scout, and another collie I adopted during the pandemic, Merlin. When I'm not scooping cat litter or walking the dogs, I'm often playing mindless games on my iPhone, practicing the French horn, gardening, or doing yoga.
Tinka joined the Four Lakes Vet family in late 2022. She belonged to a family with two other Devon Rex cats (one of whom was already named Tinka) after the owner's mother couldn't care for her anymore. While Tinka didn't care about the other cats in the household, they weren't fond of Tinka and the clients reached out to Dr. Scarlett to see if she needed a clinic cat. Ranger, our previous clinic cat, was adopted by one of our receptionist's mother and is living a much happier life as an "only child."
Tinka's origin story is a mystery. She was adopted from a breeder in Iowa who had bred her at least once. But the breeder was no longer breeding cats and wanted Tinka to go to a family. Prior to that, another breeder owned her and passed her on to the breeder in Iowa. It is unknown how old she is and how many litters she had.
What we do know is that she fits into the clinic perfectly. When she was brought in as a trial, she immediately jumped off the front counter and started exploring. She loves to perch on shoulders and sleep on top of the refrigerator in the treatment room, watching everything that goes on. Since she has very short, curly fur, she consents to wear sweaters, but said "absolutely not" to a shiny, jingly "jester's collar." A girl has her limits!
She goes to various employees homes each weekend, getting a lot of attention from children and husbands.
We are very happy to have Tinka as part of our family!