Dr. Freesh opened St. Louis Cat Clinic in 1992. A cat veterinary practice had been her goal for many years. Dr. Freesh was born in Panama (formerly the Canal Zone) and when she was 18 moved to Tennessee to start college. She holds a BS degree in Agriculture and a MS degree in Zoology from The University of Tennessee. She graduated from Auburn University with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Dr. Freesh is married and has two adult sons. Several wonderful cats, a Doberman Pinscher, and a rescued mutt grace her home.
Dr. Freesh has done volunteer work for three cat rescues and St.Louis Cat Clinic rescues some cats and kittens yearly. She has served on the Webster Groves Child Care Board of Directors, House of Representative Education Committee, Class of 2000 Graduation Party Committee as Vice President, served as President of the Greater St. Louis Veterinary Medical Association, and was the first woman elected as president of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Jessica Howard is a St. Louis native who received her BS in Biology at Webster University before going to veterinary school at University of Missouri. She graduated with honors in 2012 and then moved back to the St. Louis area to be close to her family. Since graduation she has worked in clinics that have cared for dogs and cats and found that serving cats and their owners became a great joy and passion for her.
Dr. Howard got married to her husband, David Notheis, in 2018 and they live in the St. Louis area. They are owned by two cats, Arwyn and Katniss. They run the household and their humans know their place. In their free time, they enjoy spending time with friends, working out, hiking, fishing, float trips, watching any Marvel movie, video games, or entertaining their cats. Her personal hobbies include cooking, knitting, reading, and makeup.
Dr. Amanda Gruber was born and raised in Arnold, MO. She received her BS in Biology and Equine Science at William Woods University and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri. She graduated in 2018 and spent a year practicing equine medicine in Kansas before deciding to move back home. Horses and cats have always been her two great loves and she decided it was time to make the switch to feline medicine.
Dr. Gruber and her husband, Trevor, have two wonderful cats, Doodle and Mao, and a highly entertaining (and mischievous) horse, Bien. Dr. Gruber loves to spend her free time riding and training horses, reading a good book, snuggling with her cats, and acting as a glorified treat dispenser for Bien.
St. Louis Cat Clinic has been blessed with a team of wonderful people. Our staff members have been with the clinic from a few months to 23 years. These are the people who answer the phones, greet clients, go over instructions at discharge, and care for our feline patients. They are amazing!
Kristin Brown is a graduate of the Veterinary Technician program at Brown Mackie. While in school she worked part time at St. Louis Cat Clinic and did her student internship here. She became an employee at the clinic after graduation. She has several cats and a dog at home. Her cat, Vincent, is legendary for having a poor opinion of all veterinarians and everyone except Kristin.
Laura is one of the newer staff members starting in early 2016 as a receptionist. This is the second animal clinic she has worked for. She moved to the St. Louis area in 2015. Kayaking, hiking, and walking with her dog Bisbee in Forest Park are favorite past times for Laura. Photography, both film and digital, is also a hobby.
Lori has been owned by cats since she was a child. She discovered the St Louis Cat Clinic in 1997 when she needed to board her two cats. She was delighted to find a ‘cat only’ clinic and all of her cats became patients at the clinic. She joined the staff August 2014 while a student and earned an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology from Brown Mackie in May 2015, graduating with honors. In addition, Lori has a Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy from Maryville University and taught Kindermusik for 19 years (a music and movement curricula for infants to 1st grade and their families) owning her own studio for nine of those years.
In 2011, Lori and her husband, David, began fostering and volunteering for Tenth Life Cat Rescue. Since then, they have fostered over 40 kittens and cats for adoption, including many special needs cats. In addition to fostering, they are ‘parents’ to several cats, plus two dogs. Lori has played alto saxophone in the University City Summer Band since 1997 and has been a featured soloist. Lori also enjoys singing, reading, genealogy, local history, cross-stitching, bowling (her parents were proprietors of Pacific Lanes in Pacific, MO for 40 years), and she and David go hiking, camping and canoeing. Lori tends to the Clinic’s Facebook Page.
In the photo, Lori is holding Albie, one of her Tenth Life special needs fosters. Albie was born in July 2012 and is challenged with Irritable Bowel Disease and requires a special diet and several medications.
After many years of successful retail management Marsha Freesh decided it was time to invest in something she cares about, animals. Currently, she has two pets of her own, both rescues. Big Wig is a Maine Coon mix. He followed Marsha’s daughter home one day and the rest was history. Louie is a Mastiff mix adopted from APA. It was a short 30 minute visit before Louie found himself at home in the backseat. When she is not at the clinic, she enjoys tending to her garden full of banana trees, working out, or spending time with her husband,Jared, who is Dr. Freesh’s oldest son. Road trips to the beach or hiking are the best. A quiet evening cooking a new recipe together followed by an interesting TV show or movie is a close second.
Verna has been with the clinic since 1994 when it was at it’s original location on Chippewa. Starting out as a part time receptionist and veterinary assistant she moved up to become our Business Manager. She currently has 4 cats. One was found living under a neighbor’s porch and the other 3 were clinic rescue kitties. Over the years she has been involved with community women’s groups, serving on the boards in various positions.
Seger is an Oriental Shorthair who loves to jump on shoulders and go for rides. He wanders the clinic looking for trouble usually. He loves to trash can dive and pull out everything just to see what is there. He has taught other cats and kittens to do it. He loves to sit in laps and get in the way if at all possible. He is funny and lovable.
Larry is a Domestic Shorthair kitty with an attitude and a short temper. He rarely will wander into the reception area. He prefers to harass staff and doctors. Larry was adopted as a kitten by an older client from St. Louis Cat Clinic. His owner came in 6 years later and asked Dr. Freesh if she would take Larry if she died. She left some money to care for him. What Dr. Freesh did not know was that Larry’s mom was sick and dying. Because a promise was made, Larry will live at the clinic and we will take the best care of him that is possible. There are stories on our Facebook about how unpredictable and ornery Larry can be sometimes. He can be sweet and endearing also. We just never know from minute to minute who Larry will be. So we understand that Larry has a few screws loose and we accept him for who is is.
St. Louis Cat Clinic hosts high school students, veterinary technician students, and veterinary students as part of the clinic’s community outreach program.