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Punahou grad finds fame on Animal Planet show


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POSTED: Thursday, July 23, 2009

Animal Planet's “;Housecat Housecall, Presented by Purina Cat Chow”; has enjoyed regular visits this season from 1993 Punahou graduate and veterinarian Karen Sueda. The animal behavior specialist grew up in Aiea and graduated from Pomona College in California before attending vet school at the University of California at Davis. She followed up with three more years of training in animal behavior.

She and her boyfriend ended up settling in Los Angeles, which she describes as “;close enough to home.”; This gave her the opportunity to establish herself as a vet behaviorist, and later become part of “;Housecat Housecall,”; a show that focuses on feline behavior and owners' relationships with their cats.

“;It was great,”; Sueda said of the six-episode shoot. “;It was a true Hollywood experience. I never imagined that I would be in L.A. and on TV. I got the full star treatment of having my hair and makeup done. I got really spoiled.”;

Each episode features two cats and their families. After learning about the problems, Dr. Sueda and Dr. Rich Goldstein formulate a treatment plan with host Dr. Katrina Warren to implement with the pet owners.

Sueda, who grew up as the “;nerdy kid”; watching “;Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom”; or “;Nature”; and rummaging in the back yard for lizards, started her vet behavior services in 2006.

“;There are a lot of animals out there with a lot of behavior problems,”; she said from her home in Los Angeles. “;More and more people are learning that you can seek professional advice about how to solve your pet's problems.

“;I enjoy working with cats,”; she continued. “;A lot of people have really low expectations for cats. But cats should receive just as much medical and behavioral care as dogs do.”;

The television experience has taught Sueda the universal nature of cat problems across the country (litter box struggles, anyone?), and “;how in love with their cats people are.”; In addition, the show is “;more reality than a lot of reality shows because not every suggestion we make works.”; In general, their clients are “;really nice cats; they just have issues.”;

Watch repeat episodes on Saturday mornings, and ask your questions on http://www.housecathousecall.com or view Webisodes at http://www.animal.discovery.com/tv/ housecat-housecall ...

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In a delightful addition to a typical media screening, chef George Mavrothalassitis of the exclusive Chef Mavro restaurant in Honolulu introduced Nora Ephron's new film, “;Julie & Julia,”; slated for wide release on Aug. 7.

A thoroughly entertaining story about the lives of the iconic Julia Child and the starstruck Julie Powell, the New York woman who cooked and blogged her way through every recipe in Child's “;Mastering the Art of French Cooking”; over a one-year period, the movie stars Meryl Streep (whose portrayal of Child sparkles), Amy Adams and Stanley Tucci.

Mavro briefly remarked on meeting Child, and said the effervescent personality who stood 6-feet-2 inches tall “;was bigger than life.”;

This film returns Ephron to the level of her best efforts: “;Sleepless in Seattle,”; “;You've Got Mail,”; and “;When Harry Met Sally.”; Curious about the 68-year-old writer/filmmaker? Read a fascinating profile in the July 6 issue of The New Yorker.

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Contact Katherine Nichols at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).