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Blog Home > Archive (January, 2018)
Meet Katrina McTaggart

Katrina McTaggart, originally from Pittsburgh, PA, is a free spirit who cares deeply about people and the planet. She loves Grand Cayman and finds Smith’s Cove to be a place for refuge, calling it a magical place. She views each one of her friends as a class; someone to study with curiosity and to learn life lessons with.

The first time Katrina and I crossed paths was happenstance. She was waitressing at Morgan’s while my husband and I were enjoying brunch after a lively Sunday service at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in West Bay. Only Katrina wasn’t actually our waitress.

In between serving her own tables, she came up to fill up our waters and struck up a conversation. (Later she told me that she came over to our table because she felt drawn to us.) She joked that she was the only American on staff, and that she came 18 years ago to the island on a work trip, kicked back in a hammock at Rum Point and nothing has ever been the same. She came to Cayman on a work trip with her then employer Abbott Labs out of Dallas, TX, where she was a medical technologist teaching people around the world how to operate their chemistry analysis. After her trip she decided that she was going to move to Cayman to make a different kind of life and to be a different kind of “chemist”—as a bartender at Kaibo.

We exchanged email addresses at Morgan’s and decided to meet up later that week, so I could interview her. We’ve never featured an American that's moved to Cayman, so I was excited to hear her story. We met up at Cimboco for coffee and immediately the happenstance, or I would call it the divine connection, began again. It was a little after 10:00 a.m. and I explained to Katrina that I wasn’t hungry myself because my husband and I had just had breakfast at Lauren’s Cafe, telling her that I got one of their awesome crepes and that my husband ordered the Two, Two, Two special. Katrina suddenly became emotional, and explained that February 22 was her mother’s birthday, and that her mom had just passed away a few months ago. Ever since her passing Katrina has seen or heard 222 in some variation almost everyday. She thanked me for bringing it into her life again that day.

During her 18 years on island, Katrina has had a ton of varied experiences. She went from living in a bungalow on the North End and bartending at Kaibo to moving in with 4 lively Brits across from Fidel Murphy's Pub, where she joked she put on her equivalent of "the freshmen 15" casually sipping on the tasty brews at the pub. She worked at Eats Cafe, which serendipitously led to a position with a local dentist through some cafe patrons. From that employer she moved into banking with Butterfield Bank and then started her very own renewable energy company, Endless Energy, with a partner. While operating Endless Energy, she wore a ton of hats and the business ended up installing over 150 solar systems for residential and commercial customers on island. The business only recently closed, and now Katrina is on another journey of self discovery.

Listening to her story, it was amazing to hear how either life situations changed her path or Katrina herself often chose to change directions. Either way, the mix of the two has led to fascinating diversity within her character and experiences. She's also refreshingly honest, and openly shared stories of hardship with me, too. Through the ups and downs of life, it was cool to see how her hope and love for life and others has shaped her and those around her. And she definitely LOVES the Cayman Islands. She's been toying with some ideas to promote the islands and who knows what will come next. She always seems to find a fun and meaningful dream to chase. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for more from Katrina McTaggart! :)

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If you’re like me, the only drawback to your trip to Grand Cayman is leaving furry family members at home. I’m not ashamed to admit that saying goodbye to my cats is cause for tears and daily requests for photos from the catsitter. Four-legged or not, my pets are important members of my household. If you have a big heart for animals like I do, you can show love to dogs and cats in need on the island through the Cayman Islands Humane Society.

The Cayman Islands Humane Society (CIHS) provides food, shelter, and care to homeless or abused dogs and cats, and also works to pair animals with loving and responsible owners. The shelter has a staff of 11, but can always use a helping hand from volunteers and support from donations. The current facility houses 37 dog kennels and a cat adoption room, which are kept very full due to the large number of animals in need.

How to help if you don’t live on island

  1. Volunteer to be a dog walker when you’re visiting
Dog walkers can come from 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays, though it’s best to walk in the early morning when it’s not too hot—paws and hot pavement don't mix. If you’ve got the time, staff will help pair you with a dog who likes to go for longer walks and socialize. Camana Bay and the beach are great places to get in a little exercise with your furry pal for the day!  
    2. Be a patron of the Thrift Shop and Book Loft
Proceeds from these shops support the shelter. Grab some beach reading or a unique souvenir and help feed a dog or cat in the process!
    3. Become an Associated Member for CI $40 a year
Memberships are a great way to not only support the work of CIHS but also keep updated with what’s happening at the shelter. Members receive a monthly newsletter with photos and updates. 
    4. Sponsor a cage for a puppy, kitten, dog, or cat for one year
These sponsorships are a great way to make a direct impact for an animal in need.
    5. Donate funds or supplies to the shelter
Monetary donations of any amount are always greatly appreciated and can be put to immediate use. Other donations such as food, treats, cat litter, etc., are also welcome—but you should give the shelter a call to see what they’re in the most need of before taking a trip to the store.
    6. Adopt a pet
The shelter does offer a service to fly a pet from the island, so if you fall in love with a particular fuzzy fellow you see on Facebook or meet while visiting, it is possible to bring them home. Dogs and cats are duty free when coming into the United States.
    7. Tell your friends! 
If you know any animal lovers who feel like Cayman is a home away from home, encourage them to support the Humane Society’s efforts as well. Share one of CIHS's Facebook posts or create your own. 
     

The Humane Society office is located at 153 North Sound Road in Georgetown near the airport, so it’s only a short ten minute drive from the condos. If you’re looking to brighten a sunny Cayman day even more by taking a dog for a walk or making a donation, get in touch with the Humane Society and volunteer!

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