I am so excited to be joining The Daily Vet blogging team. I have some big shoes to fill here taking over Dr. Coates’s role as the "cat blogger." I'll do my best to keep you entertained and informed as much as she did. And never fear; Dr. Coates is not leaving. She's just moved over to the Fully Vetted blog.

So how did I end up as a blogger here on The Daily Vet? Here's the roundabout version.

I love both dogs and cats but I have a particular fondness for cats. I've lived with cats for my entire life except for a few years in college when I lived in "No Pets Allowed" dorm rooms or apartments.

Currently, I share my house with six cats. Or more appropriately, the six cats allow me to live there with them as long as I keep them fed and pampered. You know how cats are.

All six of my cats were rescued or abandoned at the hospital where I work. There are four males and two females, and all are healthy and happy. I have had to draw the line at six, though I have been tempted many times to add a seventh. Adding my sixth cat, Merlin, has put a strain on the inter-cat relationships. So, we’ve stopped at six in order to keep the "kitty peace," so to speak.

Truth be told, my bed is not big enough for another cat, either, since five of them typically sleep with me and each has to claim his or her own space, usually in the middle of the bed. Thank goodness I have a king-sized bed or there would not be any room left for me.

As for my job as a veterinarian, I take care of both dogs and cats. I do not have a specialty. I am simply an all-purpose general practitioner. But I love my job and would never trade it for anything in the world. I particularly like doing surgery but enjoy interacting with pet owners and their pets, too.

What do I hope to accomplish with this column? Well, that depends a lot on you, my readers. Obviously, I'll be focusing on cats here. We'll talk about cat health, cat behavior, cat training, and cat care. Pretty much all things cat are on the menu. I hope to provide a column that keeps you entertained and engaged, while still keeping you informed about the things you need to know to keep your furry four-legged friends healthy. So I hope you will help me by letting me know what you want to talk about and by adding your comments and questions. Please feel free at any time to let me know if there is a topic you need to know more about or if you feel like I am wandering too far afield.

I will see you again next week. In the meantime, enjoy a good cuddle or two with your kitty.

Dr. Lorie Huston

Pic of the day: "Oh hai..." by bherman

white cat, cat says hi, hai cat, peeking cat